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:

  1. blue skinny jeans
  2. leather thongs (that’s flip flops for you US peoples, or jandals to New Zealanders)
  3. nude patent leather pumps
  4. blue leather ballet flats
  5. mustard ballet flats
  6. blue Converse sneakers
  7. sandal wedges
  8. sunglasses
  9. loose grey sweater
  10. mustard yellow cardigan
  11. black cropped blazer
  12. black shorts
  13. black maxi dress
  14. ivory silky tank
  15. orange silky tank
  16. red t-shirt
  17. olive green t-shirt
  18. white and navy striped t-shirt
  19. red and white striped t-shirt
  20. navy patterned sundress
  21. black and white patterned dress
  22. pink patterned sundress
  23. navy knee length cotton dress
  24. watermelon polka dot cotton dress
  25. red polka dot shirt
  26. green shirt
  27. grey skirt
  28. wide black belt
  29. thin brown braided belt
  30. necklace
  31. red silk dress
  32. dusty pink silk dress
  33. green silk maxi skirt
Project 333 wardrobe (summer)

This is my complete wardrobe for the next 3 months

Brown braided belt, wide black belt, sunglasses, wooden bead necklace

...plus just a few accessories

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!

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14 Responses

  1. sunny

    I like your colorful selections for Project 333 and admire you for doing the project!

    I don’t have much but am pretty sure I couldn’t do the project. Will subscribe so that I see all your updates on the project!

    Reply
  2. Chisa

    Thanks Sunny! I like bright, primary colours and bold patterns, so this selection should suit me pretty well I think :) You should give it a shot!

    Reply
  3. Ruth Ellison

    What a cool idea Chisa! Not sure whether I can do it, but we’re in a constant decluttering cycle at the moment. I also love your idea of sewing your own clothes. That’s something I’m planning on learning this year too.

    Reply
  4. Chisa

    Good luck with the decluttering Ruth! I think my decluttering of my wardrobe throughout the year really helped with starting this project – I’ve already cut down so much, so the extra step wasn’t terribly hard. I think it’s a lot easier on me than it is on others who aren’t freelancers or casual dressers though!

    I’m really looking forward to sewing more this year! I definitely have a long way to go though.

    Reply
  5. Kirsty C

    That’s a great idea! Good luck with it and I hope that you don’t get too bored with the limited choisce. Your colours look nice and bright and varied.
    I try to keep my purchases down by only buying clothes Made in Australia.

    You’ll definitely get sick of the same clothes when you’re backpacking… Good practise though.

    Reply
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