At the start of October 2010 I started a minimalist wardrobe project called Project 333. I was already minimizing the stuff in my home so, I was intrigued to see if I could use just 33 clothing items, shoes included, for 3 months. I never expected it to be a permanent change but I figured it would help me on my journey to having less stuff in my life. So I made my wardrobe list but changed a few rules to fit my needs. I was worried I wouldn't do well with my limited wardrobe but was excited to find out what would happen.
I really enjoyed participating in the project. It was so much easier to make a decision about what to wear for the day when you have so little to choose from. There were times I wished I could wear a different jacket or shoes but for the most part I was quite content. I learned to dress up plain T-shirts to work for special occasions and dress down nicer things for everyday. So now I know I don't need to have so many just in case type of outfits waiting in the wings taking up space. I also now know that I don't really get bored with my outfit choices and nobody else seems to notice that I wear the some things over and over. Heck, I don't remember what my son or husband wore yesterday so I'm pretty sure that others outside my home can't keep track of what I wear.
The project ended on Dec 31, 2010. On Jan 1st I didn't jump for joy that I had a larger wardrobe again. Though, I did wear a turtle neck and some shoes that weren't on my list that day but, I didn't drag out my stashed away clothing with wild abandon like I thought I would. It's been three days and I still have yet to sort through my wardrobe that is packed away. I'm not really in a hurry to put my wardrobe back together, it just doesn't seem important right now. I did go out and buy a new t-shirt on the 1st. I know it sounds crazy since I'm supposed to be minimizing but the project taught me what really works for me and what doesn't. I kept track of what I wore each day for about two months but let it fall to the wayside during the holidays. It turns out I really like to wear my Mossimo tissue tees and wanted at least one more long sleeve and short sleeve shirt. I only found a long sleeve that I liked so that is all I bought. No more buying unless I know I am going to love it and use it until it is in tatters.
Project 333 is going in for round two but I won't be joining them. I've learned what I needed to from the first round. What a person considers minimal is a personal decision. It can't be dictated by a set number. So I will continue on my minimalist journey on my own again having more knowledge about what works for me. I will be going through my wardrobe sometime this week and weeding out what I no longer need or want. I hope I can keep my wardrobe down to a smaller size, I'm thinking around 50 items, but for now I won't be attaching a set number to what I'm allowed to own. I'll be using the honor system to keep my wardrobe under control.
No longer concentrating solely on my wardrobe might help me to focus on minimizing elsewhere, whether it's reducing knick nacks, kitchen utensils, boxes packed away with memorabilia, junk drawers, computer and internet use I'm not sure yet. I'm excited to keep working towards my goal of buying and having less stuff in my life so I have more room, time, and money for the things that really matter to me in life.
If you're looking for a challenge in the new year this could be the one for you. Give it a try! You'd be surprised what you can learn from having a small wardrobe.
A list of minimal wardrobe projects:
If you know of any other minimal fashion projects or any type of minimal lifestyle challenge let me know about them, please!