project 333: update for September

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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

As far as clothing goes, Europeans have us beat in both style and function.  A minimalist wardrobe is part of the European mentality, as clothing is not only more expensive in Europe, but is often more well made and follows more classic styles.  Also, Europeans tend to have less access to washing machines and dryers, unlike us North American energy hogs, so it just makes sense for them to have more simple wardrobes.  With two kids, I find myself running my washing machine daily just to wash clothing, and I’d hazard a guess that I’m not alone in this practice.

My parents are currently on a three week trip through Italy and Greece.  I received an update from my mom via email this morning about how much fun they’re having on their trip.  Here’s my favourite part of her email:

We have enjoyed four relaxing days on the lake, taking two ferry rides to different towns and driving up the west side to explore the areas up there.  This is a very nice place – I’ve been keeping an eye out for George Clooney, but have come to realize that I am on the wrong lake!

Oh well.  I’m not really dressed for company these days.  Oh, that reminds me:  Erin, your little gold slippers are the height of fashion out here, especially paired with a neutral dress – how perfect is that?  Also, your “biker” boots are in all the stores and on the streets with skinny jeans.  You wouldn’t believe the prices here – we should probably be very thankful that we have loads of clothes coming from China, or we probably would be going around naked.  All I can say is, “Thank goodness for Winners!”

Love the part about George Clooney.  Apparently we have the same taste.

It’s good to know that I can have a minimalist wardrobe and still be fashionable.  I don’t have many clothes, but I still get compliments from friends on my clothing and footwear. Clearly this means that no one is noticing that I only own one pair of jeans.

Here’s a few practices I’ve adopted when it comes to incorporating clothing into my minimalist wardrobe:

  • Look for classic styles that will stand the test of time and trends.
  • Stick to mostly neutral colours, and pick one or two accent colours to jazz things up.
  • If the fit and condition of an item is not perfect, consider foregoing it for something that is.
  • Look for quality made pieces that can withstand your lifestyle.
  • If it’s on sale, great.  But consider buying it only if you would still pay full price for the item.
  • If you’ve lost that loving feeling for an item in your wardrobe, consider recycling or repurposing it.

I’ve added a couple of long-sleeved t-shirts to my wardrobe after culling several heavy weight sweaters from the line-up.  It doesn’t really get cold enough in Vancouver to warrant heavy wool sweaters, so I’ve sent a couple off to the thrift shop and I even managed to sell one on craigslist.  Score!  You can see the list of all my clothing here, and be sure to check out Project 333 for more inspiration.

Are you participating in Project 333?  I’d love to hear how your experiment with less fashion is going!

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2 responses »

  1. This is great advice Erin. I have radically pared my wardrobe down. It’s so much easier! I also look for classic styles and wish it hadn’t taken me 38 years to figure it out! I went through a phase of having to get the lowest price on everything which coincided with our recent economic downturn. Now I realize that buying fewer, good quality things is an even better option. I do try and buy things made in Canada, the USA, or Europe. I often find they are better quality but not always. I think you just have to be careful. There is nothing worse than buying something you really like and having it fall apart after one wash. This season I’m taking a tunic I wore all fall/winter last year and getting it made in better quality fabric. We’ll see how that works.

    • I love tunics too! Tunic-style tops and dresses paired with leggings are my go-to outfit for the cooler weather this fall. I used to be the type of shopper that bought every deal in sight, but no more – I now only buy things that are a good fit and good quality, and if the price is good, that’s a bonus. 🙂

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