“A Minimalist Fashion Challenge”
For the past two months I’ve been dressing with a wardrobe that includes just 33 items. It was a challenge at first, but one that’s turned out to have great benefits. I packed away 105 things — from tops and bottoms to shoes and scarves — and honestly, I didn’t miss most of them. You can see what I kept in my closet in the photos above.
The experiment, Project 333, is a creation of blogger Courtney Carver. The goal is to limit your wardrobe to 33 items for three months to gain new perspective on what you really need in terms of apparel. Carver helps readers with the challenge by posting her own outfits on Instagram each day.
I also found inspiration by reading about the issue of excess clothing and its impact in the book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion.
“A few years ago, I used to dream about a big, beautiful walk in closet to hold more stuff,” Carver writes on her blog. “Today, I could easily store my clothing and accessories without a closet (and I am so much happier).”
More than halfway through the Project 333 challenge, here’s what I’ve learned:
* Having fewer clothes reduces stress. It is easier to decide what to wear in the morning, or what to pack for trips. I feel ready for any situation because I am only picking from clothes that make me look my best.
* Fewer clothing means less laundry. Because I have fewer items, I re-wear items like jackets and jeans. On laundry day, there is very little folding and putting away to do.
* Shopping is less tempting when you have limits. Before, I’d pick up great bargains on clearance, and I was a magnet for free items from friends. Now, I ask: Are items of good quality? Do they coordinate well with what I already own? How often will they really get worn?
* You don’t have to have the perfect “minimalist wardrobe” to make this work. At first, I wanted to have things that coordinated perfectly, like all those minimalist wardrobes you see on Pinterest. But I resisted the urge and just used favorites from my closet in creative ways. I turned a sun dress into a work outfit by paring it with a blazer, and got lots of compliments from co-workers.
* Rules are made to be broken. I exempted jewelry and purses from my 33, but counted clothes, belts and shoes. I have relatively few of these accessory items anyway, and they don’t cause me stress or clog my closet. This is an experiment after all, not an exercise in deprivation.
Project 333 is an easy way to try out downsizing or paring down, because you can pack away your items for three months and, if you absolutely hate it, you can go back to the way things were. But after two months of trying this myself, I doubt you will want to.
Photos by Ken Lopez Photo