In this blog post I describe my participation with Project 333, a method of creating a small wardrobe that is coordinated, season and activity-appropriate and that changes every 90 days.
An article in the Daily Mail said
When taking into consideration the averages revealed by the respondents, as well as the fact that a woman’s adult lifetime is, on average, 62 years from the age of 18, it appears that women own on average, in a lifetime, 1,116 tops, 620 dresses, 310 skirts, 372 cardigans/ jumpers, 558 trousers or jeans, 248 coats or jackets and 434 pairs of shoes.
When I first got interested in Minimalism I reduced my wardrobe in three large increments. The first reduction involved taking everything I owned and throwing it on the bed and then trying all clothing on and getting rid of items that were too large or that were out of style or moth-eaten or damaged. I estimate that I got rid of 200 items filling at least 6 large trash bags. Then about a year later I repeated this process but this time I got rid of items that were both too small and too big. I also got rid of dozens of shirts from running races. And, applying a stricter criterion of what is a quality garment, I purged an additional 3-5 large trash bags and I’d estimate another 150 items. Still, I have clothing that I hardly ever wear and some items that are essentially duplicates. I’ve vacillated between feeling like I should donate all of these and having a sentimental attachment to items or an irrational desire to hold onto them for other reasons. Examples include that the items are practically new, or that I might want to wear them someday or they are only slightly snug and I will fit into them soon.
What I always yearned for was a wardrobe that looked coordinated, had what I needed but without excess that would only take time to winnow down, was in good condition and that I felt comfortable in. Enter Project 333. Website for Project 333 I’ve tried to do this before but got sidetracked when I tried to simultaneously limit exercise kit, socks and underwear. In this iteration, I stayed closer to the original intent, as I understood it, to develop a work/leisure wardrobe.
I’ve chosen my favorite 33 items to wear for the summer. This includes all shoes, belts, ties, jackets, a sweater, and even the cap. It excludes running and biking kit, shop/gardening kit, sleep ware, and socks/underwear.
I plan to purchase a merino tee and a sun blocking hiking shirt at Patagonia and then I’ll swap out two items
I look forward to adding jumpers and cardigans in the fall
The kit was designed to include what I will need at the office, at home and also for my hiking trip to Wyoming in AUGUST.
I’ve never honed it down this far but hope this will give me the courage to let go of the seasonal items I don’t wear in September.
Unlike the original Project 333 I don’t count my watch or wallet or sunglasses etc. Project 333 is more of a concept versus a set of rigid rules. I hope that by having my highest quality or favorite items I will feel better about my wardrobe and spend less time thinking about what to wear and have less “decision fatigue.”