The Dress with Less Challenge
Minimalist Fashion Project 333 participants start month 3 today. While watching the snow come down, it is hard to believe that I had to build tank tops in into my collection of 33 for 90 degree days less than 60 days ago. I think that is a true testament to the ease of living with less in your closet. What I thought was enough, was clearly way too much.
While the project seems easy to me, there are a few things I miss, and others participating miss things too or wish they had planned differently. I posed the question on Facebook and here is what readers had to say:
Beverly Army Williams Wish I had a trench coat to put on the list. Glad I didn’t put any earrings on it.
Mike Schumacher I have a polo shirt that I could have changed out. Maybe for a pair of gloves, a different shirt, or a heavier jacket.
Mary Barzee I’m also a bit cold. Wish I had a thicker pair of leggings and a thicker/warmer long cardigan. I have two button-up work shirts that I haven’t worn yet, or ironed. But I’ve been having fun with the clothes I do have. I’ve been wearing this skinny yellow belt at least three times a week. Great project. Love it!
See all the comments here:
Project 333 may still be in the last month of phase 1, but we are already gearing up for phase 2! This will include new rules, a new website and many new people to add to the fun. If you’ve been watching, but haven’t been ready to take the leap, now is your chance. I interviewed three people taking part in Project 333 so you could see what it’s all about.
What have you found to be the biggest benefit of Project 333?I find less is more; my wardrobe with project 333 includes my favorite most flattering pieces and helps present me in a way that I like. I have 1/3 of the laundry I had before and I know what pieces I can wear, instead of being overwhelmed by a plethora of clothes.
If you could change or add a rule to Project 333, what would it be? My one rule of project 333 that I would add is, I would want to be able to swap out clothes that are too worn for replacement items. I have been doing this anyway as I was too rough on a pair of jeans and my knees have bad holes. I’ve been trying to mend clothes at first signs, but clothes worn too much just don’t repair very easily.
Has anyone noticed that you are dressing with less? No one has really noticed my change in wardrobe. I still get complimented on clothes, but its different, its not so much about pieces, its more about the overall outfit and me.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience? I find that my form of minimalism includes more colors. The only items I really haven’t worn too much are my white button up shirts. Everything else has been worn, and aside from one pair of jeans I first chose, everything has held up really well. I think without project 333, I’d still have worn under 33 items just from habit and unconscious trending, but with project 333, the pieces are a lot more cohesive as an overall wardrobe and help represent me in a way that reflects my true self and how I want to be seen.
Keep up with Angie on her blog Angie & Ryan or follow her on Twitter.
What motivated you to start Project 333? I know so many people that have trouble saving money—I used to be one of them—yet they are constantly buying more and more stuff. When I launched my own blog in September, I knew I wanted to write about how I broke my addiction to stuff. In my research I discovered the minimalist movement and some of the minimalist bloggers out there such as Tammy Strobel of Rowdy Kittens and Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. Before then I only understood “minimalism” as a design term and not a lifestyle.
I’m recently married and my husband and I moved into an older home with small bathrooms and small closets. We had to divide our clothes among 3 closets to accommodate everything. It was inefficient and frustrating. Project 333 made “cleaning out the closet” sound hip and fun, and not like me being a nagging wife.
Have you felt limited in your pared down wardrobe selection? A little, yes, but it’s partly my own fault. There are a few items on my list that haven’t been as versatile as I thought they would be. I’ve also felt limited by the lack of color in my wardrobe. I stuck with mostly black, grey, and tan pieces so I could mix and match. It feels very drab, especially since I don’t have many accessories on the list. If I brought a few more colorful camisoles, scarves, and necklaces back into my wardrobe, I think I could mix things up enough to keep my wardrobe this minimal, or close to it.
Have you considered applying the principles of Project 333 to other areas of your life? Definitely. We recently pared down the amount of furniture in our living room and the space feels so much better. Also, before I put away the jewelry that didn’t make the Project 333 cut, I took out anything I no longer wear and donated it to my coworkers. Seeing them wearing and enjoying the jewelry inspired me to donate some bigger items that I’ve been reluctant to part with. I have some beautiful vintage furniture that won’t work in our current home, but I’ve been keeping it in the basement anyway for “some day.” The truth is, however, we plan to live in this home for many years, and keeping those beautiful things hidden away isn’t helping anyone. Allowing someone else to use and enjoy them seems much more respectful.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience?Project 333 is an excellent lesson in humility. You can’t exactly be full of ego and pride when you’re wearing the same pants three days in a row.
Keep up with Cheryl on Twitter or visit her blog, Peculiar Girl.
Thanks so much to Angie and Cheryl for answering these questions and to ALL the amazingly adventurous people dressing with less. If you are up for the challenge and want to join in, now is the time! Join the facebook page, search #project333 on twitter, get started and watch for more information. Email me with questions and connect with others who have decided that life is better, living with less.
Naomi Selden interviewed me for The Times Union in Albany, NY and the interview will be published in Sunday’s paper! You can see the blog version here.
Update: Since I wrote this post in 2010, Project 333 continues to grow and simplify wardrobes around the world. Learn more and join in …