Getting Back to Basics: My #Project333 Experiment
*The following was written two years ago, but I felt like reposting to share!
I recently watched the film, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things and find myself thoroughly fascinated by the minimalist movement. Up until I watched the documentary, I only associated minimalism with running shoes. While watching Minimalism, my mind was expanded about the idea of living simply and valuing human interaction instead of purchasing material goods. I find the concrete hold that the advertising industry has on our economy, culture, and societal interactions both captivating and horrifying because of its seemingly inconspicuous influence it has on human behavior. It is what provides the basis of the American Dream, a template many people have used to find happiness. While this has motivated millions to work harder and earn more money to buy more material goods, it also infects the mind with the primal state of being dissatisfied and wanting more. Now I won't go into much more detail because the film does an incredible job of explaining the minimalist movement. It is so good in fact, I watched it twice in the same day. Once by myself, before a purged my closet and the second time with my family later that night.
Now without further ado, allow me to explain my thought process of attempting to de-clutter my closet. Cleaning out my closet was always on my to do list for a while now. I never got the chance to actually do it because of the my chaotic schedule and wanting to do other things, like taking a nap or binge watching Netflix (clearly my priorities were straight). After watching Minimalism and some browsing about #Project333, I immediately went to my room and took everything that was in my closet and dumped it on my bed and bedroom floor. And I sincerely do mean everything! My first thought when I looked at my room was 'Holy sh*t, how do I have so much stuff?!' It was truly bizarre experience for me to see my closet so empty. I had this naive notion that didn't have that much stuff but working and sifting through 133 pieces of clothing, 13 scarves, and 14 pairs of shoes blew that out of the water. Deciding which clothes to donate and which to box was extremely cathartic.
What is it? Project 333 is a minimalist fashion challenge created by Courtney Carver of the blog, Be More with Less, that invites you to create and live with a wardrobe of 33 items or less in 3 months. For more information on how this challenge got started and guidance on how to begin, please click here.
33 Items in 3 Months- This includes clothing, outerwear, shoes, jewelry, and accesories. For my experiment I am not including my backpack and purse because I'm still in school and will need those items for what I have planned for this semester.
What is NOT included in the 33: "wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear, and workout clothing (you can only wear your workout clothing to workout)"
I will embark on this challenge from January 23-April 16 (Easter)
Once you have chosen your 33 items, take the rest of your clothes out of the closet and pack them into bags/boxes, seal it with tape, and place it out of sight.
While sifting through your closet, decide which clothes to donate and which ones to keep.
No shopping during the experiment- Trade the time that you would normally use to shop to do productive activities such as talking to a friend, reading a book, taking a walk, take a nap, etc.
My 33 Items:
Dark brown boots
Black ankle wedge booties
Black wedges with gold toe trim
Gym shoes (Blue, my retired running shoes)
Current running shoes (Purple)
Teal Pashmina scarf
Black-grey ombre pashmina scarf
1 pair of black leggings (not pictured, was being washed at the time)
1 pair of earrings (not pictured, being worn at the time)
Khaki anorak jacket
Maroon knit cardigan
Black and white striped skirt
Chambray button up shirt
Little black dress with sheer long sleeves
Dark blue wash skinny jeans
Olive green skinny jeans
Grey skinny jeans
Red cropped slacks
Tan knit blouse
Dark blue sleeveless blouse
White button up dress shirt with black polka dots (short sleeve)
Navy blue t shirt
White and black striped t shirt
Black and white striped 3/4 sleeved shirt with hoodie
Black and tan long sleeved knit top
Black long sleeved blouse
Basic black long sleeved shirt, v neck
Basic emerald long sleeved shirt, v neck
*Since I am doing this challenge during my last semester of college and am involved on on campus organizations, I will be rotating 4 polo shirts when I attend the meetings since it is required. These shirts will only be worn during the duration of the meetings, not the entire day.
How did I manage to single out 33 items out of the 133+ items I own? I mainly stuck with neutral colors (black, grey, white, brown) because they can be watched with any color. I deliberately chose three scarves to provide a variety of looks and I can be pretty handy with different ways to tie a scarf. I thought about the events I have going on in the next 3 months; I have a research conference to go to in April and I'm also working part-time at a physical therapy clinic, so I was intentionally choosing pieces that are business casual. Since it's also winter, I choose pieces that could be layered for utility and warmth. I was able to cut my shoe inventory in half of what I initially started with, which is always a plus! Surprisingly, this was the first and easiest category of items I worked through.
So yes, my wardrobe for the next three months will only consist of 33 items. I will keep you all updated weekly with my outfits for that week, along with the week's triumphs and challenges. What I hope to achieve with this fashion challenge is to decrease the amount of stuff I have in my life and learn to be happy with just the essentials. I am very much looking forward to not being distracted and not wasting 10 minutes of my morning on deciding on an outfit. Interested in doing this challenge with me? Great! I dare you to! Give me a shout out on social media with the hashtag #Braidologie4Project333 so I can see your posts!
Wish me luck!