Since dressing with 33 items or less every 3 months (including clothes, jewelry, accessories, and shoes) for more than 6 years, I’ve experienced quite a few unexpected perks. I didn’t know what to expect in 2010 when I created minimalist fashion challenge Project 333 but from the beginning, it was full of pleasant surprises.
This minimalist fashion challenge didn’t just change my closet, it changed my life.
1. More money
I haven’t been sharing my daily looks recently, partly because they haven’t changed much. All of the pieces (shown above) from my Fall 2015 collection were in my Fall 2016 collection, and they are in my Winter 2017 collection too. Project 333 isn’t an excuse to shop and wear 33 new pieces every 3 months, but an invitation to dress with less to create time and space in your life and figure out what really matters to you. And while you are doing that, you aren’t spending money on new clothes.
2. Less guilt
Opening my closet used to be a daily reminder of my debt and discontent. There were the clothes that didn’t fit, the clothes I never wore, and even clothes with price tags still hanging on them. Once the excess went out the door, so did the guilt and other emotions I had been paying with for so long. When I let go, I realized I had paid enough. I paid with my money, my time, my attention and emotions. Haven’t you paid enough too?
3. More clarity
Now that I don’t spend my mornings deciding what to wear, or my evenings and weekends online shopping or trying thing after thing on at the mall, I experience less decision fatigue and have way more clarity. I know what matters to me now, and it’s not more shopping.
4. Less weight fluctuation
There’s no science to this (that I know of), but it’s my belief that hanging onto clothes that don’t fit, hoping they will someday is stressful. And stress can contribute to weight gain. I’m not talking about a short-term situation like being pregnant or another reason you might gain weight temporarily, but the constant ups and downs that keep us holding onto three different sizes of clothing.
Instead of causing more stress by getting rid of your “skinny clothes” or other sizes you may be holding onto, get them out of sight for 3 months. See what happens.
5. More freedom
Now that I’m not interested in the latest trends, or the 40% offers and other sales, I’m not a slave to advertising and marketing campaigns that tell me to buy now. I buy when I need something new, not when they want me to buy.
I’m surprised when I think of all the time and attention I devoted to buying on someone else’s schedule. Now I’m free.
6. Less time shopping
I shop for clothes 4 times a year or less. I don’t shop every weekend, or for every event and emotion anymore. If you are thinking … but wait, I love shopping, I’d like to invite you to challenge that idea. Shopping was my go-to distraction from pain; the pain of boredom, disappointment, sadness, exhaustion. I didn’t know what I loved. Take a 3-month time out from shopping and see what you really love.
7. More confidence
I always thought I needed to wear something new or special to prove myself. I needed the right heels to feel powerful, or a new dress to feel sexy, or a trendy jacket to feel put together and prepared. Once I started dressing with less, I found confidence in who I was instead of what I wore. Today I feel powerful, sexy and prepared from the inside out instead of the other way around.
Resources to help you with your minimalist fashion challenge or capsule wardrobe:
- Project 333 rules and information – Everything you need to know to get started.
- The Dress with Less Course -For extra guidance, motivation and support join the Project 333 Microcourse.
- Tammy Strobel’s Tiny Wardrobe – See what’s in Tammy Strobel’s tiny closet. Gain inspiration from awesome examples like this, and then make it your own.
- How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe – If you are overwhelmed with closet chaos or just curious about the benefits of dressing with less and simplifying your wardrobe, this article will help you build a capsule wardrobe.
- Instagram – follow me here for future wardrobe updates, inspiration to live and dress with less and Project 333 round-ups. Use hashtag #project333 when sharing your own minimalist fashion for consideration in a future Project 333 round-up post.
- Join me in Des Moines on October 11th. Tickets are available here.