Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Laura of smash your t.v. and have adventures.
I discovered Project 333 two days after the first phase started. Project 333 seemed incredibly radical yet practical. It was something I really wanted to be a part of but a little afraid to do.
I already thought I had a pretty minimalist wardrobe since I’m not a shopper or fashion addict, but the number of items in my closet still far exceeded 33 and I wasn’t sure if I was up to the challenge.
That, combined with the fact that two days of phase one had passed and I needed time to sort through my clothes, kept me from participating in the first round. I spent the next few months slowly donating clothes to Goodwill and selecting items for phase two. But by the time January 1, 2011 rolled around, I was ready.
A bit daunting in the first few days, Project 333 ended up being easier than expected. I wasn’t overwhelmed with outfit options, I was less picky about what I wore, and I was comfortable all the time. I also had a few pieces of unworn clothes during those three months.
Before April 1st arrived, another set of clothes had been selected for the next three months. Theoretically, the spring months would be harder with an extreme temperature range, different types of weather, and the need to dress up for my internship – I’m a jeans and t-shirt person.
Fast forward to now, six months into my personal Project 333. How is it going for me? Well, I have a confession to make.
I forgot about it.
You’re probably thinking that I cheated and started wearing clothes that aren’t on my list of thirty-three items. Actually, no. I forgot about it because now I just do it without thinking. It comes naturally. The clothes I’ve boxed up and packed away are out of sight and out of mind. They don’t exist. They’re not options. And I’m doing just fine without them.
I no longer worry about people looking down on me for wearing the same clothes, week after week. I no longer feel the need to explain why I’m wearing the same clothes anymore. My brain has been wired to believe I don’t own more than five pairs of shoes. My gray cardigan is a staple that is comfortable and goes with anything. I take little time getting ready in the morning. I forgot that I had two bags of clothes in the basement.
Having fewer clothes is a mindset for me now. It’s not a challenge anymore, it’s normal. The clothes I do use are comfortable and satisfy every purpose I have for them. That’s what clothes are to me: a purpose, not a fashion statement. And can I tell you how much I love that everything fits in a small closet?
Project 333 has also changed the way I shop for clothes, on that rare occasion that I step into a store. Instead of finding a different article of clothing for varying purposes, I search for one item that can do it all. My two current favorite items of clothing in my closet were actually purchased for the project:
- Gray cardigan sweater. It replaced a few zip-up hoodies, colored cardigans, and some long-sleeved shirts. I wore it almost every day during colder weather.
- Black flats. I love this pair because it can be worn with or without socks and with jeans, dresses, or leggings as a casual or dress shoe. It has replaced several pairs of shoes in my closet.
I love that two things can do what too many things used to do.
Now when I do remember Project 333, I consider how to eliminate more clothing from my collection or pick a year-round wardrobe. I want to challenge myself more. I want to pare down my clothing so there are no extra bags of clothes in the basement. I want to make sure that every item I have is versatile and purchased mindfully. I want people to focus on me, not the clothes I’m wearing or the labels on them.
My clothes do not define me. Your clothes do not define you.
What is the best thing about Project 333 for you?