Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fashion Diet Reflections

My first stint of Project 333 has wrapped, although truthfully I've been wearing a hybrid of my while- in-Japan list and my updated rest-of-the-90-days list for the past couple of weeks. Maybe because I'd allowed myself a different wardrobe with a completely different colour palette during my trip, or maybe because I had trial-run my list for nearly a month before starting, I found it very difficult to stick with my 33 items for the final few days. Both the monotony and the need to handwash so many of my items were really getting to me. Rather than fight that, I decided I'd experiment with what my next list might look like, ditching the winter-spring items and bringing out my summer stuff in light of the hot weather we've been having.

That said, I think a slow fashion Project 333 list is still totally doable, either if your items are carefully chosen for easy care, or if you're childless and the handwashing routine fits your schedule. I'll be aiming for the former as I amend my list of items.

I also made a couple of additional changes to my list during my final month. I bought shorter trench coat on sale, more suitable for cycling in, and swapped it in in place of the white trench coat. Here's a photo of me in it from the Critical Lass ride report on my other blog. I still haven't finished sewing my LBD so I subbed in a black wrap LBD in its place, and I still hadn't worn one of my skirts more than twice so I subbed in a polkadot one in its place. I happen to be wearing those in this photo too, with my rubber boots and black tights.

Here's what I learnt about myself during my first Project 333 stint:

  • I need to have easy-to-launder items for my core everyday wardrobe, because my lifestyle doesn't allow me to hand wash things all the time. 
  • My personal style tends toward casual, vintagey, and artsy. I basically live in tops with interesting details and either jeans (or shorts) and flats or a skirt layered over leggings with knee-high boots. I almost never wear dress slacks, and limiting my wardrobe choices does not change that tendency. 
  • As someone who frequently makes her own jewelry, I really chafed at not being able to change the look of an outfit with a different set of accessories - even if most of the time I wear the same signature items.
  • I photograph much better in navy than in black.

All in all, I loved doing Project 333 - it gave me a great framework for figuring out my personal style and my wardrobe needs, and I'm looking forward to doing it again. However, rather than doing Round 2 of Project 333 right away, I took a look at the many other fashion diets out there, and I'm going to try a 30-for-30 Remix Challenge instead. (Follow the link to Kendi Everyday for all the details on how to do it yourself - Kendi has written a cunning workbook that I kind of wish I had read before starting Project 333.)

I like the simplicity of the 30-for-30 Remix Challenge idea: take 30 items, make 30 outfits, with no time frame or other rules. You can choose to not shop during the challenge, if you wish. If an event comes up, you can take a day off of the challenge and wear something outside your list, although you might not want to. Shoes are included in your 30 items, but not outerwear or accessories, which has the potential to be a real monotony-killer and make it easier to transition the outfits that come out of the challenge between seasons. The emphasis in 30-for-30 on creating different looks by remixing what's in your closet also appeals to me. During my first Project 333 I tended to get stuck in a rut and only wear my items one way, so the challenge to find ways to wear my clothes differently will help to shake me out of that rut.

I haven't made my list of 30 items yet, but think I will keep some of my Project 333 rules going during my 30-for-30, as well. I won't count undergarments, pajamas, lounge wear, or workout clothing as part of my list. I'll keep my Bonus Rule #1, of letting myself swap out items for very similar items as the seasons change, although outerwear not being part of the list will mean I don't need to use that option much. I'll continue to strive to bring the slow-fashion cred (Bonus Rule #3) by including as many handmade, local, sustainable, second-hand, or vintage items as possible. Bonus Rule #2 won't be needed since I'm not planning any trips to exotic destinations. That I know of.

I am also adding a 4th Bonus Rule that I cannot buy anything that isn't on my need-to-buy list at the beginning of the 30-for-30 Remix Challenge - and that anything on my need-to-buy list should be part of the 30 items. No shopping FTW!

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