15.7.13

Minimalist Monday: Summer Minimalist Wardrobe


I know, I know... a  much overdue summer minimalist wardrobe update... so sorry for the delay. 

First an update on how I have progressed  from being a one time shopping diva to an almost prudent clothes shopper. If you have not read my previous wardrobe posts I must tell you that I am a former clothes addict. Flashback to two years ago and at this time of the year I would have normally been contemplating my summer sales purchases and my next visit to a charity shop to fill my wardrobe gaps. 

Somehow, and I still can't believe this has happened, I have now reached the point where an overfull wardrobe makes me feel stressed and unworn clothes hanging in my wardrobe seem wasteful. VIP invitations to sales don't get a second glance now and instead of contemplating my next purchase I find myself making plans for my next wardrobe purge (and getting quite excited at the thought).  

My wardrobe cull has been partly circumstantial. Downsizing forced me to give up at least half of my wardrobe and to begin to consider adopting a smaller yet stylish collection of clothes. The mistakes and fripperies have been weeded out and my wardrobe is gradually being honed to a functional and wearable collection. Sometimes I pine for a purged item of clothing but then I remember something about the item that made it an outsider in my closet. My current collection of clothes is small but well-loved and new items have to be vetted, tested and deemed pretty sensational in some way or other to earn their hanger stripes. 

I first took part in Project 333 last December and learnt an awful lot. Over the Christmas - New Year period I managed successfully to dress myself presentably and sometimes stylishly with 33 items of clothing. To be honest I found this is a challenging number when putting together outfits for different occasions and weather. However, don't be put off, the project allows for flexibility. This time I have not included bags or jewellery in my 33 items because I now don't have many of either. My handbag collection is small and finally under control and I keep my accessories simple.

So.. this season's 33 items. This list was put together over two months ago and has been my wardrobe since May when the weather first started to improve in the UK. There have been a few tweaks since I first put these 33 garments together. I originally had a pair of pewter wedge sandals on my list but have not even thought about wearing them. Maybe if I had an occasion like a wedding to attend they might have been required but my gladiator sandals have been more than adequate for any evening/smarter event I've attended. So the wedges have been put to rest in the loft and have made way for a favourite cotton dress that has enjoyed a revival in this balmy weather.

Whilst it would be nice to start afresh with a new minimal wardrobe I almost gain more pleasure in knowing that I'm reviving old favourites, especially those that were charity shop finds (*).

However, there have been some new additions to my late spring/summer wardrobe:

a maxi dress
new pair of ballet flats
plain orange Gap t-shirt (semi-fitted)
crochet waistcoat (essential for that summer vibe... not...) I'm counting this item as an accessory as it can't be worn on its own

All these items have been good buys in terms of price/per wear. I love finding a great item like my maxi dress and wearing it over and over again.

So my current list....

Bottoms:
1. skinny blue jeans
2. white jeans
3. white linen trousers
4. smart white trousers with fine pinstripe*
5. tulip shaped skirt
6. white linen three-quarter length trousers
7. denim shorts

Tops/dresses: 
8. green crinkle vest*
9. purple t-shirt
10. orange t-shirt
11. white birdcage t-shirt*
12. aqua check shirt 
13. teal cap sleeved top
14. multi-coloured three quarter length sequin top
15. multi patterned short sleeved top
16. salmon and grey jumper
17. Joules sweatshirt*
18. navy blouse
19. floaty orange sleeveless cotton tunic*
20. crinkle sleeveless tunic
21. green dress
22. maxi dress

Jackets/cardigans:
23. blue boyfriend cardigan
24. green wrap cardigan
25. purple wrap cardigan
26. black cardigan
27. waterproof storm jacket
28. trench coat

Footwear:
29. black/cream ballet pumps
30. purple birkinstocks
31. gladiator sandals
32. brown ankle boots 
33. converse

I won't bore you with photos of ordinary denim shorts or plain white linen trousers but here are a few shots of the stars from my summer Project 333 list. Many are non-iron, charity shop/car boot finds or sales gems (from my past life). 












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14 comments

  1. Oh yes! I packed for my holidays in a few minutes yesterday and I'm taking half a bag of approx. 12 items with me today! ;)
    The only just-in-case item is jeans and there's a cossie in there, too. Breton seaside here I come...
    And I love that green dress - what's its story?! (love the story of clothes!)

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  2. Hi Clare - great post. Love your rose print skirt - where's that one from?

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  3. I am still trying to sort myself out. Ignoring the sales save for one autumn jumper. I bought a lovely tea dress in the CS by Oasis for £6.00 it will be worn over and over like my maxi dress! Well done!!

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  4. A lovely collection of clothes I need to get round to photographing mine, I haven't done it yet, although a few stragglers have wormed their way back, so I should have a purge again.

    It does feel good to open the wardrobe door and see space and to know that everything you have hanging there is 'just right' for wearing doesn't it.

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  5. This is an interesting challenge, I am now wondering how many items I have in my wardrobe not many I know but I wonder if it is 33 off to count......

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  6. Hi, I admire you doing this challenge as I think I might find it difficult to narrow my wardrobe down to 33 items. I'd quite like to give it a go. Maybe I will try it in the autumn/winter. I really like your tulip skirt and green dress. So pretty.

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  7. I particularly like the green and white dress!

    Having recently purged my wardrobe I'm actually down to about 33 items of summer clothing and shoes (I don't count bags, jewelry and scarves) and am finding it much easier to get dressed every day.
    Wearing better quality clothes that I really like and that look good on me is liberating, and if I find items that didn't get worn as much as they should have to earn a place in my wardrobe, they'll be donated at the end of the season. I use the "ooh" measure when shopping: if I try on an item and it makes me go "ooh" (in a good way!) its worth buying!

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  8. It was so interesting to read about your summer wardrobe. Following your example I tried to reduce my winter wardrobe but it was still more than 33! I tried to do the same for the summer but I found it difficult as the weather was so interchangeable to start with. I still have 5 skirts will have to go back and relook at it again! I find it quite difficult as the clothes I wear to work are completely different to those I wear at home.
    Sarah x

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  9. Claire your post has inspired me to do Project 333 this coming Summer. I've been doing the reverse hangar thing (last Summer and now again during Winter) so that's helped me really see the things I don't wear.
    Thanks for sharing all the valuable information and your wardrobe details - I love the green and white dress too!

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  10. Oooh I just discovered your blog and I *love* this post! Loving the photos and the inspirational, organised tone of it all. I shall read more!

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  11. Don't know if I could manage on just 33 items for a season, Irish seasons being so predictable, but I have certainly changed my shopping habits. I think carefully about each piece and how it will fit in with my existing wardrobe, buying mostly in TK Maxx and sales as I don't like cheap high street stores like Primark for ethical reasons. As I get older, I buy things I like and are timeless, not the latest fashion fads.
    Got my first thrift shop find yesterday - a fabulous Monsoon dress.

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  12. Thanks for sharing. I am nowhere close to having only 33 items for the season, but yet, I have significantly reduced my wardrobe. I have notice that I still tend to think outfit when shopping for new pieces rather than a global picture. I also see that I need to be better organised when it comes to laundry. My last point would be for the holidays. I am planning to have a two weeks break and I reach the point where I think I will have to do some laundry which tends to make me not so happy. How do you manage holiday packing?

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  13. Your wardrobe looks really pulled together. I like the prints and textures!

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