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.
So far, I’m considering my project 333 a huge success. I’ve been able to function happily with my minimal wardrobe of less than 33 items for a full two months, two weeks of which were an out-of-town vacation which included several trips to the beach and lots of visiting with family and friends. Not only did I have sufficient clothing to look presentable and feel good about my appearance, I was received several complements on my clothing, particularly my summer dresses.
A few things I’ve learned in the past month:
- People do not notice if you have a small wardrobe, particularly if it is well put-together. I wore a simple black dress at least five times when I was on vacation, and I got at least that many compliments on it. One reason I used to have an extensive wardrobe was because I was of the impression that others were judging what I was wearing. Here’s some good news: no one cares what I’m wearing. Or what you’re wearing. As long as you look presentable and are happy with how you look, consider yourself dressed. No need to accumulate a closetful of clothing simply to impress others or make yourself happy. Don’t worry about what others are thinking, and try to focus on being content with what you have in this moment. It truly is possible to be content with less.
- Quality items generally cost more. As evidenced by the fact that my $6 t-shirt shrunk when I put them in the dryer. This fact pains my frugal heart. But I dislike waste, so as much as I like the idea of buying clothing on the cheap, I’ll be looking for better quality clothing items in the future. Quality items also generally tend to last longer and look better in the longer term.
- When you spend less time shopping, there is more time for everything else. So far this summer we’ve spent time at the beach, at the pool, on playgrounds, in water parks, at the library, in backyards, and on the streets in our city. And we’ve had great fun. It was exhilarating watching the kids through the garden sprinklers in my parents’ backyard shrieking with joy. The amount of time I’ve spent shopping has been minimal, limited almost exclusively to shopping for food. And for the memories I’ve had time to create in lieu of time spent shopping, I’m grateful.
- Having a list of what you own makes it easier to justify not buying things. Participating in Project 333 helps facilitate a lot of self-control when faced with the temptation of new clothing. Now when I find myself in a store I do a mental review of the items that are currently on my list, along with the colours and sizes and it helps me determine if I actually need something or if I just have a bad case of the momentary wants.