My desire to live with less began several years ago, but I recently joined Project 333 – a minimalist fashion project from Be More With Less. The results of it are pictured above.
I realize not everyone desires to live with less, but that isn’t the point of this post. For me personally, living in a society where bigger, better and more is the norm, the idea of less can seem scary, something that is forced on you through poverty and recession.
I decided to try this project to learn a few things about myself. I wanted to find out:
What it feels like to limit my choices. Will wearing only 33 items feel good, bad, empowering, defeating? I’m not sure, but I’m curious to find out.
How this project will affect my perspective on fashion and spending money. I really have no desire to go shopping right now, except to replace a thin, cheaply made t-shirt that is pretty much useless to wear on it’s own. I have a feeling this project will help me make smarter (and fewer) shopping decisions.
How to let go of imagined social pressures. One of the driving forces behind fashion is that you don’t want to get caught wearing the same thing twice. It’s why women feel they need a new dress for every wedding or spend hours staring at a closet full of clothes with “nothing to wear.” With this project, I’m forcing myself to eliminate that fear. It’s a liberating feeling, actually.
Interested in trying the project with me?
- When: Now until December 31, 2010
- What: 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes.
- What not: these items are not counted as part of the 33 items – wedding ring, underwear, sleep, in-home lounge wear, and workout clothing (you can only wear your workout clothing to workout).
- I also didn’t count: snow gear, swim wear and (if applies) work uniforms
- Extra credit: minimize the things in those categories, too.
Add them up – here are my 33 items:
- Jeans (5)
- Shirts (8)
- Scarves (2)
- Coats (2)
- Shoes/boots (3 pairs)
- Earrings (2 pairs)
- Sweaters (7)
Choosing the items was not easy, but felt like a big accomplishment. If you decide to join the project, here are some tips to keep in mind as you whittle your wardrobe:
Choose things with dual purpose. I made sure all my long-sleeve t-shirts matched with at least two sweaters so I can keep some variety. My only jewelry – two pairs of earrings – will match every single outfit.
Go neutral for shoes and accessories.
Realize you can switch-a-roo as needed. If an item isn’t working out, I can simply replace it with something else. This is a learning experience, not a competition, so be kind to yourself.
Be prepared to feel a little sad moving your (almost) entire wardrobe into storage. When the feeling first hit me, I stood still for a moment to recognize it. Wow! I was emotionally attached to my clothes! I didn’t fight the feeling, but I didn’t let it stop me from lugging those bins down to the basement, either.
Be prepared to feel awesome about it the next day. Getting ready this morning never felt so stress-free. I’ll share short monthly updates on how this project is going, but until then, I’m loving the way my closet looks. I’m loving that I no longer have three bins full of clothes under the bed.
I’m loving living with less.
If this post helped or inspired you, please share it. Thank you!