In an effort to learn how to live with less, this year I’m taking the plunge and starting Project 333. The premise is simple: 33 items (including clothes, jewellery, shoes and accessories), 3 months.
I’m expecting this project to be a lot easier on me than some people, given Perth’s balmy weather (it will almost certainly be uniformly hot for the next 3 months), my work situation (freelancing means I don’t need separate casual and business clothes), the fact that I don’t really go out to formal occasions much and my generally minimalist shopping habits. It will certainly still be a challenge though, so let’s see how we go!
Here’s my list of chosen items:
- blue skinny jeans
- leather thongs (that’s flip flops for you US peoples, or jandals to New Zealanders)
- nude patent leather pumps
- blue leather ballet flats
- mustard ballet flats
- blue Converse sneakers
- sandal wedges
- loose grey sweater
- mustard yellow cardigan
- black cropped blazer
- black shorts
- black maxi dress
- ivory silky tank
- orange silky tank
- red t-shirt
- olive green t-shirt
- white and navy striped t-shirt
- red and white striped t-shirt
- navy patterned sundress
- black and white patterned dress
- pink patterned sundress
- navy knee length cotton dress
- watermelon polka dot cotton dress
- red polka dot shirt
- green shirt
- grey skirt
- wide black belt
- thin brown braided belt
- red silk dress
- dusty pink silk dress
- green silk maxi skirt
I’m going to allow myself to replace any of these items if they get too worn out or stop fitting me within the timeframe. Note that as per the rules, I’m not including my wedding or engagement rings, regular earrings, pajamas, home clothes or sports clothes, although the last three items can’t be used for non-home/sleeping/exercise purposes.
I’m also throwing in one addendum - any clothing items that I make myself over the next three months can be added in without taking up an item. This is because I’m trying to get into sewing a bit more properly this year, with the eventual aim of having a good portion of my regular wardrobe made by me. At this stage I’m a very slow and not particularly good seamstress, so it’s likely I’ll only come out with a few wearable handmade pieces within the next three months if any at all.
Why do this? I suppose it’s up to the individual, but personally I can see a lot of benefits of learning to live with less. I live in a smallish apartment with very little storage space, so there is a limit to how much stuff it can contain without getting cluttered. I frequently ‘discover’ items of clothing that had ended up in the back of a drawer or squished into the wardrobe and forgotten. I have things that I do not love, or just don’t have a clue how to wear. I’ve also started daydreaming about our Europe backpacking adventure in 2013, where I will have to carry all my worldly possessions on my back, so those few possessions had better be good ones!
It’s also about a change of perspective – instead of taking an almost disposable view of fashion (buying things to wear only once, or buying more than necessary simply because it’s cheap), challenges like this shift your thinking into a more positive, sustainable mindset. The focus is on quality, versatility and things that will really last rather than rampant consumption. Even if I don’t continue with such a minimalist wardrobe after this 3 months is over, I’m hoping the experience will change my shopping and dressing habits for the better.
Anyone else up for this challenge through the new year? Let me know, I’d love to see what you include in your 33 items and how you go!