Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Minimalism: the capsule wardrobe, part one

I have been debating a Project 333 for a while now.  You probably have heard of Project 333, but if not, it is a capsule wardrobe, or owning only 33 pieces of clothing worn on a regular basis for 3 months (changing every season). You can make your own rules or exceptions, but usually undergarments, workout clothes and accessories do not count in the 33 items, although you can include them if you want.

I am aware of my clothing proclivities, and I fall into the "wears 20% of the wardrobe 80% of the time" rule.  In the summertime, I have three pairs of cotton capris, five tshirts, five sundresses, and three light sweaters that I end up wearing most of the time.  I can do this.

First, lets discuss my fancy wardrobe vs. the clothes I wear everyday.  I know I've already discussed  my sensory issues on the blog, and how I can't stand wearing normal people clothing (anything not made of knit material.  I will not be confined.)

I have three separate wardrobes.  Wardrobe one is the stuff I wear everyday, like sundresses and sweatpants.  Obviously I am dressed more attractively in the summer than I am in the winter.

Wardrobe two contains attractive yet uncomfortable clothes (attending work/social obligations).  The nice/uncomfortable clothes range from business casual to cocktail dresses, and I mentally refer to them as the Stepford Wives clothing. They all go nicely with pearls.  I don't like wearing fancy uncomfortable clothes, but I can and I have to for a few hours at a time every so often, so I need to keep them around.  I put them all on one end of the closet, so I am not looking through them every day when getting dressed. (This wardrobe still has a gap--I need fancy shoes that don't hurt my feet, but I've been looking for this item for 20 years.)

Wardrobe three is workout clothes (yes, I have separate sweatpants for working out and the daily uniform).  I have seven workout short sleeve shirts, seven workout long sleeve shirts, three workout shorts, and four workout pants.

My efforts on creating a capsule wardrobe will be on wardrobe one--the daily sweatpants and sundresses.

I will give you a really big tip: start your capsule wardrobe journey in a season in which you have lots of clothes that you like.  Or start looking at your wardrobe for the following season early, if you know that you are missing basic items for that season.

I did the opposite.  I have tons of summer clothes and will have quite a few choices for my capsule wardrobe for the summer.  The difficulty for my summer wardrobe will be deciding which items to discard.

I have zero winter clothes that I like.  None.  Of course, I decided to start my capsule wardrobe in November.  I am lucky---California does not get severe winters, but December through March-ish I need long pants, long sleeves, close-toed shoes, and a light jacket.

Guess what items I don't own?  


In November, I went through everything in my winter wardrobe.  It wasn't a huge undertaking.  My winter wardrobe consisted of:

* four pairs of stained, worn-out cotton black sweatpants (my uniform the last 4 years)
* ten stained long sleeve crew neck cotton tshirts (I also own many aprons, but I am a klutz)
* one pair of jeans that I never wear but kept in the unlikely event I am required to wear jeans
* two ponte knit slacks (one black, one navy)
* 3 pristine button up dress shirts left over from my working days that I never ever wear
* one pair of black sneakers (sexy, I know)
* one pair oxblood penny loafers
* three heavy cotton short sleeve sweaters
* three heavy wool sweaters
* 5 pairs black athletic socks
* 3 pairs dress socks

I pulled everything out of the closet, then put back in what I wanted to keep.  Out of the list above, I kept my socks, sneakers, penny loafers, and two pairs of ponte knit pants. I packed the three heavy wool sweaters on the top shelf of my closet, even though I haven't worn them since moving to California, because I do visit family on the East Coast and it is possible that I will visit during cold weather, although I will certainly try to avoid it.

I donated everything that was stained, unattractive, didn't fit, or that I haven't worn in a year.  You'll notice that I kept only sneakers and socks and two pairs of dress slacks.  I donated everything else.

Then I came to my senses and went back to the donation bag and pulled out my four pairs of ugly black sweatpants, because hello, I need to not be naked until I can find some pants.  From long experience I know that it may take a year or five to find pants I like.

Thus began the Great Pants Challenge.  (Fodder for another post.)


This post is already far too long.  Next up, pictures of winter capsule wardrobe.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Painted house and doors

Remember when I ripped down all the ivy that covered the front of our house?  No?  Is it because I never posted a picture of the house from that angle with all the ivy all over it, and now I can't seem to find one?  Hmm.

Well, here is a picture of the side of the house with all the ivy torn down, in need of painting.  

Last year we also tore down the termite riddled patio cover in the back, which left a giant stripe of beige stucco.  

We finally painted the house.  

We also painted the front doors from hunter green to Behr's Red Delicious.  We used a paint with primer, and it was horrendous.  That is 9 coats on that door.   If you sell a product that says "only takes two coats, even red" and then it takes 9 coats, expect me to show up on your doorstep demanding my money back.  

The house is looking very fresh and clean and lovely. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Marble: probably not going to use it again

I've heard that marble is a fragile, easily stained material.  I'll tell you those rumors are true.  I don't think I'll ever choose to put marble on a horizontal surface  in my home again.

Here is the powder room vanity with marble countertop.  It is not noticeably damaged at first glance.

However, after two weeks of use, the marble is stained and scratched. Some large something was put on the surface (I don't know what), and it left a large circular stain.

A soap bottle fell over and spilled some soap on the counter and I didn't notice it for a while, so it left a big stain.  I bought a tray to keep any errant falling-over soap bottles from staining the marble, but the tray scratched the counter.

Even water stains marble--I'm constantly in this bathroom wiping up after people wash their hands.

It looks pretty, but it is too much work for me.

Do you have marble?  Love it or leave it?