Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Clara of The Educated Life.
Project 333 is an experiment in dressing with less. For me, this has meant dressing with less stress and less anxiety – not less in terms of options! I really haven’t missed the rest of my wardrobe. The decision of “what to wear today?” has become my easiest choice of the day, because my wardrobe is simplified and streamlined.
As a mom of an active toddler, a wife, a full-time employee, and a part-time graduate student working towards a Ph.D., anything to make my life easier and less complicated is well worth any sacrifice or effort. I thought it would be extremely challenging to narrow down my wardrobe to just 33 pieces, but it was actually pretty easy. I chose classic pieces in neutral colors with a few of my favorite colorful items thrown in to create my Project 333 wardrobe.
I thought about what occasions I would be dressing for, and decided I would need mostly office-appropriate attire, plus some casual Friday and weekend outfits, and a few dressy items for church and special outings.
Project 333 has already helped me realize that I definitely prefer gray and black as my neutral colors; and that I enjoy wearing jewel-toned colors, such as purple, rich pink, turquoise, and teal. Through this project, I was inspired to take the time to figure out which colors look best on me – wearing fewer pieces for 3 months means I should be wearing all of my best pieces for the season, right? As a result, I know I’ll be getting rid of things that don’t fall into my newly-configured favorite color families. Choosing clothing for a limited wardrobe even reminded me that bright white is not my color – a soft off-white, or cream, is much better for my skin tone (note to self: need to trade out white button down for an off-white shirt!). So far, this experiment has been quite a learning process for me in terms of making my wardrobe work for me and defining my personal style, and that makes me very happy.
I anxiously read blog posts and followed (er, more like stalked…) facebook updates during phase 1 of Project 333, but didn’t have the guts to jump in right away. I thought it would be harder. I thought I could never narrow down my clothing to 33 items and be happy about it, but I am! I thought I would never have enough to wear with just 33 items, but in fact, I feel like I have more options.
Will I stick with 33 items for the rest of my life? Probably not. But in a few short weeks, I’ve already learned more about my personal style, my best colors, and how much I value my shoe wardrobe than I could have learned without the challenge of dressing with less. I know that 33 items is probably too small of a number for me – but my “true number” of clothing items is not much higher than that, either, and I know that now.
If nothing else, I would suggest that others take on Project 333 as a mode of self-discovery. Discover your sense of style, your best colors, your best fitting items. When you are forced to narrow your wardrobe, I think you will find that you will naturally gravitate toward your most flattering, comfortable, and (surprisingly) versatile clothing. You’ll choose your favorite shirts, your best jacket, those perfect jeans — and you’ll recognize why you enjoy wearing those items and why those items look so good on you (the color, the cut, the fabric, the fit, etc.). The bottom line is that you will learn to dress better with less as a result of Project 333. What are you waiting for? I think we all deserve to look our oh-so-put-together best all the time, and Project 333 can help you, too!
Read more from Clara at her blog, The Educated Life.