Thursday, May 17, 2012

Project 333: Phase 3... Let's Get Started Already!!

Lately, a few people have been asking me if outfits I am wearing are part of my Project 333. The simple answer is "no". But I do find it interesting that other people have actually taken a genuine interest in my Project 333. (Click here, to learn more about Project 333.) And even more intriguing is the fact that these people have been mostly men. Who would have thought?

It is full-on spring in Connecticut. Lots of rain, and lots of temperature swings. A couple months ago when an unseasonable wave of early warm weather hit, I packed away my hardcore winter stuff - goodbye wool, corduroy and boots! I retained the lighter things that could work for me in early spring - tee shirts, lightweight cardigans and get to stay! But as time is marching on and I have yet to lay down my plan for Phase 3, I find myself engaging in acts of complete desperation. I am pilfering my stash of clothes in the basement like nobody's business. As my mantra becomes "I have nothing to wear", I am grabbing random articles left and right, trying to hobble together a decent outfit. The worst part is that these items are taking up permanent residence in my armoire, and it's getting pretty crowded in there!

I know exactly what is going on. I am lost. When I am between phases, I have no direction. I feel sloppy, and I am simply a confused mess (mentally and otherwise). I have said it before, and I will say it again: Project 333 gives me structure. It forces me to actually plan a wardrobe, and my style, such as it is, comes off more cohesive.

My Phase 2 ran for about 5 months, beginning last November. I selected items that could carry me through an entire New England winter, and I included only items that did not require ironing. This really worked out wonderfully for me. I had an exceptionally difficult schedule this winter. On many mornings I had to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to get myself out the door. Um, 4:30 a.m.?? I can't even see straight at 4:30 a.m., never mind get myself dressed! My 33 were seriously a lifesaver this winter. And I had worked in enough flexible options so I was able to mix things up and not get bored; I really did a great job strategically selecting my pieces for Phase 2.

As I start my Phase 3 list, I am entertaining the idea of bringing back items that require ironing. I am finding that a no-iron restriction really limits me, since I tend to gravitate toward structured pieces, most of which require ironing. For this Phase, my mind is turning to bright, clean colours, set off against a base of navy blue and khaki. Navy and khaki might sounds boring to some, but...ooh how classic and preppy! I can't resist. I will be "shopping" my reserve of clothing, tucked away in the basement over the next week. How cool is it that you can put something away in a box, and when you revisit it after a year, it's somehow full of new life and potential!

I am also planning a few new purchases. My KEEN Irving bag has finally bit the dust, so I am in the market for a rugged waxed canvas tote to replace the old girl. And then there are shoes. Last summer's work shoes were limited to the Goldenrod Fluevog Viardots and the Crimson Dansko Sissy Sandals. But I have my eyes on two other potential lovelies for Summer 2012: Kork-Ease Avas in Natural and a classic pair of Bloch Ballet Slippers (color to be determined). Shoe selection will be contingent on clothes selection, so I'll have to just wait and see what makes the cut.

I have much to work through. I'm hoping to iron out a list (pardon the pun) over the next stay tuned!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother Mary & Local Radio

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am not a religious person. But the notion of religion has always fascinated me. A couple years back I was listening to the local Christian radio station. It was right around Mother's Day and they were airing a segment on the blessed Virgin Mary; really, one of the most interesting pieces I've ever heard on radio. These ideas I was hearing about Mother Mary may be commonplace to the Christians, but they really got me to thinking.

Of course Mary embodies the potential good in all mothers, but there was more to what I was hearing than just that. Sure we all associate the motherly traits of compassion and selflessness with Mother Mary. Born to be a vessel for birth, Mary gave up herself and her inherently selfish being for the mere existence of her offspring, as all mothers do, to varying degrees. The Mother Mary comforts, she loves, she is the figure of eternal hope and mercy, and she is mother to all. But Mary not only represents the ideal earthly mother that we are all born through, she also represents the mother that exists in each and every one of us, regardless of age, religion or gender.

On this Mother's Day, as we pay reverence to our mothers, wherever they may be, let's not forget our Mother Mary. Let's be sure to celebrate her very qualities that are in some way, within each and every one of us: the mother, the non-mother, the woman, the man, the child, the Christian and even the Agnostic.