Welcome to Project 333 Style Stories, a brand new series featuring real people dressing with less. Your stories are so important and will inspire people to try Project 333 and discover the benefits of dressing with less. Send me your style story for consideration with 3 images of you and your 33 and answers to the questions below.
Tell us a little about yourself like what type of climate you live in, and what a typical day is like for you.
I live in a small town in western Massachusetts, where it can be 0° in the winter and over 100° in summer. I’m self-employed as a Web designer, so a typical workday means taking my laptop to the coffee shop for the morning and working from home in the afternoon. On weekends, I read, cook, garden, and take walks with my husband. Theoretically, I could spend my whole life in yoga pants – but I don’t feel professional or put-together if I do.
Why did you start Project 333?
When I first heard of the project, I thought, “I’d have to buy more clothes to get up to 33 items!” I wore a ‘uniform’ of khaki pants or shorts with long or short-sleeved t-shirts: functional but boring. I felt guilty about spending *any* money on clothes. At one point a few years back, I owned only one pair of pants, which I doggedly wore every day.
A few months ago, my family reorganized our budget, and now my husband, 13-year-old daughter and I each receive a monthly allowance toward clothes and other personal expenses. I decided to invest in a comfortable, mix-and-match wardrobe that would make me feel polished. Nothing in my collection is expensive; one pair of boots cost $50, but nearly everything else was between $4 and $30.
I now have appropriate, flattering clothes for any occasion, and no guilt whatsoever about the money I spent. Best of all, everything is carefully curated – there’s nothing extraneous, yet I don’t feel deprived.
What’s in your 33?
- 3 bags: backpack, small messenger bag, small purse
- 6 t-shirts: black, gray, white, red, purple, magenta
- 2 light sweaters: black v-neck, white shrug
- 1 white blouse
- 1 black/white sleeveless tunic
- 3 shorts: navy, magenta, khaki
- 2 pencil skirts: black, gray
- 3 jackets: denim jacket, black jersey blazer, gray fleece pea coat
- 4 shoes: Mary Jane sneakers, sandals, tall boots, short boots
- 3 pants: jeans, black, khaki
- 5 dresses: mulberry sleeveless, black/white sleeveless, black/white flowered, black/white striped, black t-shirt dress
I decided not to include jewelry or accessories in my 33, because for me, they take up minimal space and expense. Every day, I wear my wedding rings and one other piece of personally meaningful jewelry, plus a pair of small earrings and the occasional scarf. Like most people, I didn’t include workout clothes, pajamas, underclothes, or socks in my count.
What have you discovered as a result of dressing with less?
I once read that most people wear 20% of our clothes, 80% of the time. That seemed wasteful to me, and it feels great to just eliminate the clutter and keep only the best.
I’ve also had SO many compliments! My husband compliments me almost every day; and from friends and strangers, I’ve heard things like “You look like you just stepped out of New York City” and “You are my outfit icon.” This is completely new to me, and it’s a major boost.