Catalogue of Sorts

What I wear, when I wear it, and how it works on my bike

Friday, Inertia

I had “better” things to do today, but I’m not doing them. It’s me, the cats, the laptop, my Kindle and coffee in the bed while it’s grey and drizzling outside.

Cats in bed, underneath the laptop tray.

Cats in bed, underneath the laptop tray.

Are you familiar with Project333? It’s a “simplify your life exercise” based upon inventorying your closet and then selecting only 33 items (including shoes, accessories, coats and jewelry, but excluding underwear, pyjamas and work-out clothes) to wear for three months. Everything else is packed up, put out of sight, and forgotten for the three months. You rotate seasonal pieces in and out and three months, as well as discard, donate, repair ill-fitting, unworn, worn-out, or unwanted things.

On the one hand, it’s a nice compromise over purging your wardrobe completely to 30 pieces only for ever and ever or some other flavor of capsule wardrobe (you know how I feel about the 10 pieces everyone should own. Digression below) or creating a uniform for yourself or doing something stunty (or arty or experimental) like wearing only one dress for a year. On the other, re-sorting and packing away a huge chunk of your closet for times a year does not seem simple. Although, I guess, eventually, you’d stopped swapping some things and end up close to only 35 pieces for ever and ever, this is my uniform, the end. Obviously, despite my plan to keep this log in order to get rid of things I don’t wear, as well as be more mindful when I do buy, my purpose is not “to simplify” or pare down.

I don’t even think, as I did a few weeks ago, that it’s even to try to develop or define my own sense of style. I think it’s just to be slightly more organized, as well as less impulsive when I buy.

Still, I am now curious to go back through my three-ish months of entries and tally up what I have worn, when. My off-the-cuff guess is that the TopShop Midi dress is my most-often worn item. We’ll see.

Me, in college, in my Units outfit.

Me, in college, in my Units outfit.

Capsule wardrobe digression: I like the capsule wardrobe concept, and I usually like seeing the mix and match combinations displayed. I remember, as a teen in the 80’s, when Units opened in the mall, I convinced my mother to buy me a variety of pieces as a going-away-to-college wardrobe: a skirt and a bolero in a brown jersey; a turtleneck, a cowl, and leggings in black.

I wore it often enough, although rarely as mix and match. I wore the turtleneck more than anything else–a black turtleneck being a pretty versatile item of clothing, even if not terribly suited to central Texas most of the time. The cowl probably saw the least use–even at 17, I was not likely to wear tiny stretch tubes as shirts, dresses, or skirts–but the bolero was rarely deployed, as well.

When I pack, of course, I bring a “capsule wardrobe”–that is, unless I’m traveling to a wedding where I need one specific party outfit, everything in the suitcase can be combined with everything else in the suitcase and look nice. It allows me to have variety as well as options when I don’t “feel like wearing that”. I guess that’s why I’m less interested in capsule wardrobes and more interested in paring my closet to things which all work together thematically.

The end result is the same, although a thematic closet is larger than a capsule wardrobe, but the latter is a list that you build and conform to, and the former is an aesthetic that you develop and an ethos you choose. I guess my loved ones are right: I tend a little toward the pretentious.

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This entry was posted on January 11, 2013 by in Shopping, Taking the day off and tagged , , , .

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