the september issue

fair warning, this is a long post and full of obnoxious pictures of myself and my wardrobe.  so if you are not interested in project 333 this would be a good time to click that button.  i do it all the time so don't feel bad.
i'm a couple of weeks ahead of myself here but courtney's project 333 comes to an end on oct 1st.  i thought i'd share with you what i've learned about myself while being involved with it.  i've said this before but the best thing about the project has been that i discovered my personal style.  because i've always loved fashion i've always thought i had a little style.  the problem with my style was that i was all over the map.  i often bought clothes for a life that i thought i wanted to be living instead of the one i actually was living.  the result was a closet full of clothing and only a few pieces that i actually wore on an everyday basis.  by narrowing down the contents to 33 items there really isn't room for impractical choices. and since moving to this place with only one small closet, space is definitely an issue too.  and so now that the project is over for me (you can still participate) i don't think i will limit my wardrobe to only 33 items permanently, but 40 or 50 sounds very reasonable to me. and the idea of applying a random number to your possessions without any purpose is silly.  because of project 333 i now know what works for me and what doesn't.  for instance i adore levi's and button down shirts.  during the fall and winter i reached for these items over and over.  jeans and a shirt paired with a herringbone jacket is my kind of heaven because this outfit truly fits my lifestyle.  when spring came around i would wear my white levi's and i still found myself reaching for a chambray shirt to go with it.  then when summer was in full swing i switched to shorts but i really found myself wanting to wear lightweight summery dresses. that is something i will correct this year.  more dresses!  i definitely made some shopping mistakes but not as many as i used to and overall i'm extremely happy with my purchases.   my biggest mistakes were in this order...the red saltwater sandals.  they are definitely cute but honestly do not look good on my feet.  they are new leather and that bothers me quite a bit.  next would be the few cheap tops i bought for the spring.  you can see them here.  i just never reached for them and i don't know why so i can't explain it.

just in case you were wondering, my usual first step when shopping is to start in the second hand shops.  i'm fortunate that we have so many good ones in redlands.  then i try to buy natural fiber clothing that is american made or compassionately made.  and if i had to sum up my style in a few words it would be...levi's, herringbone, vintage leather goods, pretty dresses and vintage turquoise.  that's me and i'm not sure i could have said that so succinctly prior to this project. 

and i cannot emphasize enough what seeing myself in actual photographs has done for me either.  i highly recommend it.  even if you don't have a blog get someone to snap a few pics of yourself in your favorite outfits.  it's a real eye opener.  i really need to do a separate post on this subject.

well now we are at the obnoxious part of the post.  here are some of my favorites that i wore over and over and over and over and over.

  errands, hanging out, movies, baling hay.  perfecto.


there isn't a thing about this outfit that i don't adore.

i wore this kayce hughes dress constantly last spring and now into early fall without tights.
i LOVE it.

this outfit couldn't be more me.

remember this el cheapo jacket from forever 21?  i felt so guilty b/c it was made in china. 
well, the truth is i wore it to death in the spring and it is none the worse for wear.  not a thread out of place.

chambray, denim and a vintage handbag. 
 kill me now.

yes, well what can you say about a $2 maxi skirt that i wore everywhere.  honestly, it was getting embarrassing.

and this rrl shirt and vintage bandanna, a gift from alex that i adore.  that kid knows me.

and one of the kayce hughes dresses i just bought.  so me.

are you still with me?
are you sick to death yet?

how about what didn't work?

love the look but the shirt was too thick and heavy for my climate.

i bought this kate spade dress for the upcoming reunion and loved it but it was too sheer and needed dry cleaning.  ebay.

returned this also.  it's longer than the kayce hughes dresses but there just wasn't any movement to the dress or something of that nature.  anyway, i wasn't comfortable in it.

i think there are a few more that didn't work for me but i'm afraid if i post another picture of myself i'll vomit. 

so that's it for project 333.  i hope that all i've learned sticks with me,  i hope to never wander around a department store again aimlessly looking for something to buy just because a advertising agency told me to.   target, i'm talking to you!  
those missoni flats are on ebay for $140.
that is stupid.  why not save for the real thing?


ps - i rarely watch tv but i'm up all night  (click to watch the trailer)which airs tonight and stars christina applegate and will arnett. 

i'll be away from my computer for a few days so i want to wish you an early happy, amazing weekend.
let's all squeeze every last drop out of summer that we can!


  1. Janet, we have such a similar style, I recognise so many of those looks from my own wardrobe. I think this is such a brilliant idea, people buy way too much stuff, I'm amazed at the non stop buying that goes on in blogworld - no one needs that many clothes!
    That said - I'm on a buying spree! I have had three years of massive financial obligations and have bought so few clothes, that, combined with weightloss and always clearing out has taken my autumn/winter day wear ( minus coats/fancy frocks ) down to 20 items - so I need more stuff!

  2. Simple and kind of perfect. Didn't want to throw up even once. It seems the things that didn't work were either fussy in some way, or too constrained. You are an inspiration.

  3. Of all the outfits the last two are my fav. but the red is the cutest.

  4. Janet,
    You're looking really hot. I do believe you've taken off a few pounds!!

  5. wasn't Steve sweet! :)

    I didn't participate in project 333but I have followed along with you and tried to find my own style. Really I found, I don't have one! I will wear my denim capris with t-shirts or a white linen shirt until the middle of the winter. I also got rid of clothes that I bought for a lifestyle I thought I wanted to have. I don't have lifestyle so I don't need the clothes! This has all been very inspiring and helpful in living a simpler life.
    I didn't want to click away once...silly girl! You look fabulous in your style ... you basically rock!!!
    You should host a fashion show where we all wear our favorite outfits.
    I'll email you back in a few.

  6. You're gorgeous and I love your style.

  7. Spot on, every one. You definitely know what works on you and what doesn't. And the Target/Missoni thing is the height of absurdity, isn't it?

    Watched Up All Night, and it wasn't as good as I expected (I'm a total Christina fan), but will watch and hope it improves. Got more chuckles out of Free Agents.

    And WHY does NBC think Harry's Law and Law and Order SVU are an advertising matchup????

  8. Thank you for your tips--this is a great post; I am trying to have a more critical eye when it comes to paring down my wardrobe. You're an inspiration and it is so kind of you to share what you've learned along the way.

  9. I love this post. I really do. Thank you for doing it. While I have not actually counted my clothes, I have sorted and paid close attention to my wardrobe, because of you. It has so good and eye opening. I am super excited that Parenthood is back! I just love that show. It looks to be a fascinating year!

  10. The picture of you sitting on the steps (the one you say is totally you) Is fabulous! It is a stunning picture. You are an inspiration ...I may have stated that before...sorry to be redundant.

  11. I didn't realize you were participating in this project but I enjoyed the recap and couldn't agree more with the underlying motivation!

  12. I wish that I could pare down my wardrobe. I seem to have 4 types of clothing in there. Work outfits, Farm wear, Going out to fancy events outfits and around the house and gardening wear. I know people who wear a uniform to work who also have huge wardrobe dramas. There's something to be said for not following trends and just purchasing for your own style and what suits your body shape.

  13. Janet, I read every word and looked at every picture with great interest.

    Here in Norcal, there really isn't much change of season from Spring to Summer. So, I wore the entire wardrobe all the way through. I never once wore the dress, or either two skirt, so that's what I learned. I had to throw away two tops recently because of stains, but easily replaced them with two I know I'll wear through Fall and Winter. Now, I'm looking for a new pair of shoes, a raincoat, a sweater, and some corduroys, and I'll be done again until next Spring! That's awesome and so cost effective.
    You've inspired me more than words can say. Thank you!

  14. I've loved the whole project 33 experience, and I'm adopting a similar approach to my closet. As you've shown, the tricky part is analyzing why the duds didn't work. Sometimes it's obvious, and other times, it's a completely mystery! Love your style.

  15. Your candid honesty is so refreshing and you my dear are absolutely adorable.

    I hope that you are doing something wonderful while you are "offline"


  16. I like your outfits, we have similar style! My favorite was the red trench with the striped top, black pants and ballet flats, that outfit is so me.

    Great post!

  17. Janet the photo of you sitting on the porch step in white and chambray is absolute PERFECTION.

  18. Oh how could you think we wouldn't love to see all the pictures. You look beautiful and comfortable. Just lovely! Your home is a joy to see also :)
    I've been following your blog for a bit and just want to thank you for sharing!Karen

  19. I love this post...Great idea about having someone take photos of you in different outfits. I too have a small space and try to live in a way that is minimal and practical. I work to do this with my kids wardrobes too! This project is great because most people don't wear half of their wardrobes anyway! Love your pics and your style!!!

  20. I completely understand what you are talking about, since I live in jeans, I have to really make sure I don't buy something that will not get worn. I took a good look at my closet the other day and I'm in dire need of some color other than black, blue, brown and gray.

    Agree with Bonnie...that is my favorite picture of you!

    I thought the exact same thing about the Missoni on Ebay and Craigslist. Why on earth would you pay that much for something from Target...I love Target but come on!!

    Have a great weekend!


  21. Such great style - loved the photos!

  22. "i often bought clothes for a life that i thought i wanted to be living instead of the one i actually was living" that is so true of me, or also buying nice clothes for when I lose weight. I am trying now to dress nicely all the time even when at home.

  23. I loved this post. I buy very little clothes because of my budget. I clecked on the old post because I remember you buying a couple of cheaper tops. I am actually glad to know they did not work out. I have a old (12 years) denim RL shirt that I adore. Sometimes I so want to embrace trends but I am never comfortable in those clothes. I am a classic girl through and through.

  24. janet, I lov everthing about your project333 postings! about drycleaning: I used to dry-clean as the labels tell us, but then I found The Laundress and I wash more than ever - and everything holds up really well! They have a detergent for delicate fabrics, worth a try and it scents much better than the dry cleaners.

  25. Janet,

    I love your project 333 posts. I am hoping to take myself on the same journey after our move. You have inspired me to live beautifully with less. Our household goods are on the way to a 1 bedroom in San Diego. I hope you know I'm calling you if I need a downsizing intervention.


  26. Janet, I just bought a new denim shirt. it was $50.00, marked down to $14.00.Deal !! It does not gap at my breasts. So I will be wearing it plenty.I love your Ralph shirts. Please keep us all posted with your wardrobe shots. Smiles, Susie

  27. Thank you for this inspiring post Janet. I love all the photos of you, even the duds, and I love that you can still be lady-like but say the word 'vomit' in your post. That's a rare thing.

  28. i don't feel like vomiting at all! post more pics!

    this is so inspirational to me. one of my fave blogs is a minister's style blog, and she is always telling us - find your style and stick with it! she is a hoot - you might like it -

    you look beautiful and at ease in all the photos you sent. thanks for sharing. xo! tera

  29. 'couldn't be more me' photo is my favourite, really lovely. I'm going to have a go at photographing my wardrobe - watch out for rather a lot of purple!

  30. I like all the looks that you liked on you. I love your olde timey style so much. you are like bygone era preppy classic. your hair helps. you have that great hair. i love many of the looks but my favorite is the levi's and the lace up shoes and those tweedy jackets. my style is all over the place too - i try to do elegant but i also have a ralph lauren-y preppy style and then i have an edgy black look also. i always feel like my closet is so conflicted, so glad you mentioned that. i love the striped shirt that you said was too heavy. i have about 10 striped shirts and even if i am no longer skinny, i still wear them constantly and don't care if they widen me. whatever. i think i might have been a sailor in a past life as i also love white pants.

    xo terri

  31. Janet,

    I love this post because it sort of sums up the whole purpose of the project. I never actually went to specifically 33 items, but reading your posts about the project has made me really examine my wardrobe, what works, what I like, what suits my life...all of those things. I have changed my shopping habits dramatically. This is a good thing. No one like buyers remorse. I think you're right about photos...that's my next thing...the camera doesn't lie. The camera loves you Janet. You look fabulous!!
    xo annie

  32. You remind me of Joy Philbin, Regis Philbin's wife. Cute. Are you all bubbly like she is too?

  33. Janet,
    You inspire me. You wit and your ability to whittle away at your wardrobe. I am doing the same and only shopping Oct and then April. Well, I will see if I can make this work. Who needs to be a slave to fashion when one could be gardening.
    Are you going to paint your house white? I wondered what's up with that.
    I loved up all night - funny.

  34. Hi Janet,
    I’ve been reading your blog from beginning to end over the past couple weeks. I wanted to send you a post to let you know how you have affected my life in such a positive way. I am a single mid 30 ‘s lady with no children but have an 11yr old Maltese and 14yr old Yorkshire terrier whom are literally my “babies”. For probably two years I’ve been researching and pondering heavily on the idea of raw diet– mainly for health purposes as I am approx 60lbs overweight. Two Saturdays ago, per your recommendation, I watched the documentary Earthlings. There are no words to describe the range of feelings and disgust that I felt watching the inhuman treatment of these beautiful creatures. Coincidentally (I wonder), that exact same day, my beloved 11 yr old Maltese was suffering from a bout of pancreatitis I have been nursing for the past seven months. As I watched the documentary and watched my sweet Maltese suffering in pain I felt a fundamental shift inside of me and knew immediately I would never eat animal meat again. Effective immediately, I have been a vegetarian for the past two weeks. My personal goal is to become a vegan, and I will work toward that in an organic, natural progression. But I know I will get there. I’m sending you this message as a huge thank you for opening my eyes and heart – the compassion I feel on daily basis for all beings is a wonderful feeling that gives me such a blanket of peace at night when I say my prayers and realize for that day I did not intentionally cause any harm or suffering to any other being. T h a n k y o u. Jenny

  35. This is a great post. I have read it twice now!
    Interesting what you learned about what you actually wear. This is why I would like to try this project.
    Now that I'm building my storage closet I could take my regular rotation down below 40 items, which would be great as I could actually see everything then!
    Thanks for sharing. xoDani

  36. Loved this post Janet and seeing your cute self in the photos too. Think I will be doing this over the next couple of months as I'll be back in England with a limited (by the suitcase!) number of clothes - will be a good exercise I feel! XX

  37. Janet, thank you for your kind comments on my blog!

    Your haircut is super cute.

    Did you like Up All Night?
    I thought it was awesome. Much better than Will Arnett's show last year!

  38. Hey Janet...I like the jeans and white shirt with the cowboy boots!

    I buy a lot of vintage too and love it.

    Thank you for sharing this with us and inspiring me personally to quit buying stuff that is just not my style and probably will never wear!

    xx kelley

  39. I love the pix of your clothes. And your garden. And your house. Did I mention your clothes? LOL.

    I'm still trying to find my style, and I love how practical and realistic yours is. I also like that you get so much from the thrift store. It's all great and I absolutely love the blog!

  40. What gorgeous clothes. I really like the red Kate Spade dress. Fifi

  41. i'm late commenting again! have been gone.
    i simply love your style. you are spot on. and you know yourself. you didn't disappoint ajj.
    maybe i'll have to drop the
    you are one of a kind dear lady!
    tammy j
    and ps... after reading above..
    the comment from jenny..i couldn't agree more.. how right she is.. it's wonderful that you share your vegan simplicity and love of life with us all. i became vegan partly because they were going to schedule open heart surgery. i begged them to let me try first with diet and medication. they had me sign a paper stating i refused recommended surgery and was in danger of a myocardial infarction (heart attack)! that was 8 months ago... i've lost 30 lbs.. my cholesterol is almost normal and i have no more chest pain. YAY!!!
    to tell you the truth tho.. i did it for the animals. i could not eat another bite of meat without feeling guilty. the agony they go thru so we can eat it and throw it away (the waste in restaurants is phenomonal).. so jenny.. welcome aboard! the pounds will melt off and your heart will be at peace!

  42. jenny - thank you so much for your wonderful comment. i'm so happy that you have had a change of heart re your diet. you are so right in the different ways we treat different animals. k.d. lang says it best. "why do we call some animals pets and others dinner?" thank you again and good luck with transitioning into being a vegan. it is truly a peaceful, healthy diet.


  43. tammy j - thank you too for your wonderful comment. i'm so happy you stood your ground with your doc. and my sister had the same results with her switch to becoming vegan. she is still going strong and her heart is as healthy as ever. so i commend you. losing weight and being healthy is the bonus to living a compassionate existence. love to you my friend. xo janet

  44. Dear Janet, I loved this post, I found it really interesting and helpful; I think I am slowly working my way towards your conclusion but still tend to be stuck in buying for the kind of life I would like to have; one day i will get there! I liked the photos of you and agree totally with your sartorial choices xx

  45. It was such a treat to see my clothes on such a beautiful and stylish model! Thank you so much. I really appreciate the wonderful press.

  46. I am new to your blog and am loving it. Can I ask about the chmbray shirt? What brand is it? I love your fashion style! I am 53 and still finding out what mine is!

  47. hi anon, and thanks for the compliment. there are two different chambray shirts here. one is a dark blue and it is from old navy. i got mine at the thriftshop but someone told me they still carry them in the store. the light blue chambray is a rrl. it was a gift from my son. i think they retail in the area of $250. but i know they still make them.

  48. No last question-the herringbone jacket?

  49. my herringbone jacket is made by brooks brothers. i don't think they make this exact jacket right now. this summer i got another herringbone jacket at the salvation army for $6. it was in perfect condition and i love it. i see herringbone/tweed jackets at thriftshops all the time. i'd check there first!

  50. Thanks. I will do that. I am in Canada but lived in CA as a child and have been back many times. Never been to Redlands but your photos of the library had me intrigued-any place with such a beautiful library must be very special. Now my husband and I are thinking we must make a trip through there-perhaps stay in the area for a week or so to explore. You are a great ambassador for you town.


kindness is never out of style.

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