Tagged: outfits

How To Overpack Without Really Trying (and Other Mistakes)

Packing PlansEarlier this month, our family went on a week-long beach vacation. I expected my limited closet would make packing especially easy, and I beamed with pride at my great planning and organization. I made a list in advance, picked things that layered well and could be combined into several outfits, and then laid everything out to admire my work. I mean, look at that spread: efficient accessories, options for temperature swings . . . I felt really pleased with myself.

And then I started filling the suitcase, which was a standard, rolling carry on. My packed suitcase was thoroughly packed, and I suspected I had packed too much. I pulled a stack of items off the top, removed a pair of shoes, and zipped my luggage easily.

None of the items pictured above were among the things removed from the suitcase and left at home. Rather, I had taken out pajamas and lounge clothes. For a week-long beach trip with my family, I had brought about a dozen outfits’ worth of clothes and only one set of pajamas. We also had in-unit laundry, which I used while there but completely ignored while packing.

I forgot that reality is reality. I spent half my time in lounge clothes or swim wear, relaxing with my family. A pile of lounge wear doesn’t make a Pinterest-worthy picture, but fewer outfits and more pajamas would have been a better fit.

Obviously overpacking for a car trip a few hours away is a mistake of little consequence. Still, I’m trying to cut down on these fashion mistakes and the time, money, and stress that they cost me.

My unedited closet contained plenty of mistakes: the mint green tank that was on sale but isn’t the right color for me; the designer skirt that was a great deal but is a size too small and only fits while I’m standing and wearing super-constrictive shapewear; the silk top in the perfect color that must be dry cleaned after every wear. Those three items collectively cost me less than $60, but those are only three mistakes of many.

Meanwhile, this is my basic black tank top:

Black tank with hole

Yes, that’s a large hole. It extends beyond the seam into a long run, and it gapes right around my left hip whenever I wear it. That $60 spent on mistakes could replace my basic tank along with my favorite tights that have a run and can only be worn with boots. I think I would even have enough left over to re-sole a beloved pair of heels and possibly alter my charcoal skirt that’s a bit too big.

Not one of those investments has the appeal of buying a new top, even a top in the wrong color. Similarly, packing pajamas sounds far less exciting than packing outfits I will not have an opportunity to wear. I am swept up in the thrill of the new and the idealized, and I end up missing what I actually need.

I’m hoping that with greater intention and objectivity, I will make fewer fashion mistakes. I have grace for myself in this learning process, and I know I’m growing in the art of packing and living lightly. And next time I go shopping, will someone please remind me to replace that hole-y black tank top?

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Project 333: List and Outfits

I am three weeks into my Project 333 wardrobe experiment. In my modified version of the project, I cut my closet down to thirty-three items, not including shoes and accessories (though I also limited those categories).

I am no photographer, but I’m enjoying documenting my outfits. Having fewer items encourages me to put things together in more interesting ways. I’m also finding that a picture gives me a more objective look at what I’m wearing, and I have adjusted some outfits by adding a belt, tucking or untucking a shirt, or changing shoes after seeing how it looked on screen.

If you are interested in the details, here’s what made the cut:


Tops:

1. White knit tank

2. Ivory silk tee

3. Ivory lace top

4. Abstract floral tank

5. Black crochet top tee

6. Navy / rust crop sweater

7. Wide stripe top

8. Teal cashmere v-neck

9. Purple dolman sleeve top

10. Blue floral outline sweatshirt

11. Pinstripe / dot button down

12. Peach owl button down

13. Blue button down

14. Mustard short sleeve cardigan

15. Purple crop ruffle cardigan

16. Rust cardigan

17. Blue knit moto jacket

18. Denim jacket

19. Brown tweed jacket

Bottoms:

20. Dark skinny jeans

21. Bootcut jeans

22. Black ponte ankle pants

23. Mustard cropped chinos

24. Coral chino shorts

25. Rust high-waisted shorts

26. Green A-line skirt Charcoal gray fluted skirt (I found the green skirt wrinkled too easily for regular wear, so I swapped it out)

27. Abstract print flared skirt

Dresses and Wild Cards:

28. Chambray tunic

29. Breton stripe dress

30. Gray structured dress

31. Purple infinity wrap dress

32. Black linen romper

33. Charcoal Versalette (new version available here)


I’m looking forward to transitioning into warmer weather with my limited closet. Since I began my wardrobe minimizing between seasons, I have several Spring-y items I’ve not yet been able to wear. Hopefully these pieces will show up in the next round of outfit shots.