Every morning you open your closet doors and begin the (often dreadful) process of answering the question, “What am I going to wear today?”
Before I finally cleaned out my closet for good and decided to dress with less, I faced that same question over and over again. Figuring it out took time and energy and often felt chaotic and frustrating. “I have nothing to wear” I’d think while staring at a closet full of clothes.
It was emotional too. Even though I usually ended up wearing the same things over and over again, I still had to face my bad purchase decisions, the clothing that didn’t fit, and the guilt of overspending every time I opened my closet. I thought the solution was “more” so I kept shopping and adding to the chaos. I didn’t realize the negative impact my clothes had on me until I got rid of most of them and discovered that the solution was “less”. I didn’t need a make-over, I needed a make-under.
Closet make-overs usually involve new clothes, more spending, more time shopping, and later more time feeling the same unsatisfied feeling you started with. Instead of closet make-over, try this closet make-under.
How to Make-Under Your Closet
You don’t have to buy anything new, or get rid of anything either. The only difference at first will be a pared down closet, and a lighter heart. Start with less and create some space in you closet and your morning. Remove the stuff (clothing/accessories/shoes) from your closet that …
doesn’t fit your body right now, feel good on your skin, or support the way you like to live.
We deserve to wear clothes that fit our bodies and lifestyles. Remove the items that are not a good fit for you.
has price tags still attached.
There’s a reason you haven’t worn it yet. I used to buy things because they were a great price and hang them in my closet like some sort of trophy. As if I deserved a pat on the back for buying something for the cheapest possible price even if I didn’t like it.
someone else bought for you.
I recommend that adults stop gifting each other clothing. Deciding what to wear is a personal decision. If you are holding onto something because someone else gave it to you, even though you never wear it, give yourself a break. Your relationship with the gift isn’t as important as your relationship with the person who gave it to you. Focus more on people and less on stuff.
you think you “should” wear.
Just because you read it in a fashion magazine doesn’t make it true. Even if a stylist told you to wear red, or a special quiz suggested more patterns, it doesn’t make it right for you. Only you know what’s best for you.
are worn out.
If clothes are worn out, torn, stained, and beyond repair, you probably aren’t wearing them anyway.
you haven’t worn it in a year.
That’s all I have to say about this.
makes you sad.
If clothes in your closet make you feel sad because you spent too much on them, they don’t fit you, or they remind you of something or someone who made you sad, remove them.
Once you remove all of the items, box them up and put them out of sight. Don’t label the boxes but instead see what happens after a few months. If you don’t miss or even remember what’s inside the boxes, donate them.
What’s left after the closet make-under?
By now your closet might be feeling a little too light but in most cases, that’s just fear talking. The fear of not having enough is powerful, but consider this an opportunity to define what enough means to you instead of letting fear do that for you. Fear doesn’t know what’s best for you.
I recently selected the items for my spring capsule wardrobe. 17 of them were in my winter capsule collection. I’m including:
- 3 accessories: tote, sunglasses, scarf
- 5 shoes: (might drop this to 4)
- 6 outerwear/layering (raincoat, long sweater, jacket, vest, blazer, zip up sweatshirt)
- 3 dresses
- 5 bottoms (jeans, leggings, pants, shorts, skirt)
- 8 tops (2 long-sleeved, 6 short-sleeved)
- 3 pieces of jewelry (2 necklaces + 1 bracelet)
This is more than enough even though I wasn’t sure until I tried it. Even when I had 10 times this amount of stuff in my closet, I usually gravitated towards the same small collection of clothing. By making under my closet and removing the stuff I wasn’t wearing or enjoying, I am free to wear my favorite clothes every day.
The solution is less
Once you make-under your closet, notice how your mornings are changing and how you feel when you open your closet. If you feel lighter, and more at ease or curious about how dressing with less could not only improve your mornings, but your entire outlook on life, consider joining me for the 3-month minimalist fashion challenge, Project 333.
What is Project 333?
Project 333 is the minimalist fashion challenge I created that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months. Your 33 items are a combination of clothes, accessories, jewelry and shoes. Don’t count your wedding ring or one sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear or workout clothing. Hide everything else for 3 months and see what happens.
I started this challenge to end closet chaos, but my simple wardrobe didn’t just change my closet … it changed my whole life. I’m not the only one who experienced life changing benefits. Tens of thousands of people from around the world have given the challenge a try and some of them report back with their progress. Geneviève said, “Project 333 was the start of a change that has grown into a bigger and internal change in not only my style of living but also on my outlook on life itself. Thank you so much for Project 333 and for all that it has done for me.” Cheryl said “One thing that has happened to me that I never realized would happen is that now when I go to stores, I am no longer enticed by the items there. It’s the equivalent of seeing cat food in the supermarket when one doesn’t have a cat!”
Join us on Instagram
Connect with our like-hearted community on Instagram by searching hashtag #project333 and using it when you share your own closet make-under.
People who haven’t tried the challenge often share their fears and people who have tried it, their gratitude. Before I started, I was scared too and had lots of questions and excuses but they all boiled down to me thinking I wouldn’t have enough.
Fear will tell you that you will never have enough. When you finish this challenge, you can tell fear you do. The realization that you need way less than you think to be happy will change your life in the most amazing ways.