project 333: update for June

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One of my goals for the year is to consciously participate in Project 333.  The main purpose of Project 333 is to have a complete wardrobe with only 33 items in it and wear that wardrobe for a period of three months.  I’m hoping that once I get started, I’ll be able to have no more than 33 items in my wardrobe at any given moment.  You can learn more about Project 333 here.

Nearly a month has gone by since I started my own Project 333, and the past few weeks have allowed me to participate in the project and focus more on enjoying what I have and spending less time thinking about clothes and what to wear.  Observations I’ve made in the last month with regard to my wardrobe include:

  • I could live with less than 33 items.  Less pants in particular.  While I had two pair of jeans on my list when I started this experiment, I’ve come to realize that I only need one pair of jeans.  When I have a favourite, I wear it and ignore the others.  While my Banana Republic jeans have been worn regularly over the past few weeks (I’m wearing them right now!), the Levi’s have not been worn at all.  I’ve tucked my Levi’s away until my current favourite jeans have been worn out.
  • Leggings, leggings, leggings.  Leggings are a staple in my wardrobe and I prefer them to tights.  Since the summer weather in Vancouver has been non-existent, I’ve been living in leggings, wearing them under skirts or tunic-length shirts. I’ve been wearing jeans 1-2 times per week when the weather is unseasonably cool.
  • Versatile tops are a huge help in a small wardrobe.  I’ve taken to wearing tank tops as undershirts under long wraps or tunic-style tops on cooler days, or worn alone when the weather heats up.  I’ve discovered I don’t like short-sleeve t-shirts at all, simply for their lack of versatility – I’ll be sticking with tanks and moving to long-sleeve shirts in the fall.
  • Just because I’ve worn something for years does not mean it still looks good.  I bought a pair of (expensive) yoga pants four years ago before I got pregnant with my second son.  They’d been worn pretty regularly over the past four years, and I discovered recently that either I’ve shrunk or the pants got a little too saggy, and could no longer be considered flattering.  When I compared them to another pair of yoga pants in my wardrobe that actually fit, they were about four sizes too big. Goodbye trusty Lululemon crops, hello body that had been living under those saggy pants.
  • Dresses can be very versatile.  Dresses can be worn alone during hot summer days, or paired with a pair of leggings during cooler weather.  They’re a great way to extend the life of pieces that you thought might only be seasonal.  I’ve got three lightweight, summery dresses and although I’ve only worn one so far, I’m hoping to incorporate the other two more readily as the weather warms up.
  • Sequins are not really my thing.  I’ve hung on to a couple of items I bought last year for the summer season that have sequins on them.  I’m going to be seeing how much wear they get over the next two months, but I’ve already donated one sparkly, sequined top and I’m considering letting go of the others as well.
  • I may be too old to wear flip-flops anywhere other than the beach or the pool.  This is purely a personal observation, and not a judgement of others who enjoy wearing flip-flops.  I donated my two pair of Havaianas this past month, with no regrets.  I have a pair of more versatile Crocs (they are a little fancier. don’t laugh, it’s true) that I’ll be sporting around town, as well as to the pool and the beach this summer.

Some benefits that I’ve enjoyed from participating in Project 333 over the past month include:

  • Less laundry.  For myself, I’m doing one load every 5-7 days.  Yes, that’s it.
  • Less time spent thinking about what to wear.  I know what’s in the closet and everything goes with everything else.
  • Less shopping, window or otherwise.  I did go shopping once this past month to try to find a suitable summer top to incorporate into my wardrobe.  I’ve decided that unless something makes me feel amazing when I wear it, it’s not worth owning.  After trying on a bunch of tops at a store with past weekend, I left empty-handed, but comfortable with not having bought something that wouldn’t stand the test of time in my closet.  However, spending an hour shopping and not finding anything has left me with even less of a desire to spend time at the mall.
  • Accepting the status quo – what I own is good enough.  I know now that the clothing I own is suitable for my lifestyle and the climate I live in.  I’ve accepted that I don’t need any more that what I already have.  And that feels great.
I’ve decluttered 8 items from my wardrobe in the past month, going from 33 items to 25. And honestly, I don’t feel deprived.  At all.  This is a big surprise for me, given that I’d already decluttered 90% of my closet and donated over 150 pieces of clothing.  To think that I could go even smaller is exciting and reaffirms that there are more important things to focus on and spend energy on than the clothing I am wearing every day.  You can check out my current list of clothing items participating in my Project 333 here.

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