As I started sorting through clothes this morning I had all but forgotten that just 3 years ago I was in Paris attending some of the hottest runway shows that season. In fact, the night before I attended the John Paul Gualtier show I was having coffee with J. Alexander (also known as Miss J of Project Runway fame) and talking about how fashion had become a four-letter word to most American men. It has long been my feeling that fashion is such a large part of who we are and it encompasses so much more than the shoes on our feet and the shirts on our back. Fashion is also conveyed through the way we carry ourselves, our personalities and our views of the world. But as I stood in front of a pile of empty hangers that were once backbones for Brooks Brothers suits, Armani khakis, 7 for all Mankind jeans, and Dior sweaters, I began to think that perhaps fashion really is about learning to do more with less. Afterall, haven’t we heard for years that all wardrobes should contain the simple black dress for ladies and the navy blue blazer for men? Those are staples. They are to go from day to night without a blink of the eye.
We spend so much time thinking about what we wear, that I now feel whole-heartedly that we start simplifying our wardrobes and stop giving so much precious time and attention to our costume. Please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying it is suddenly okay to wear fluffy slippers to the market or where ratty t-shirts to a dinner engagement. Rather, I am saying that we should take the principles of minimalism and apply them to our closets and drawers. We should find pieces that mix and match and are made with complimentary fabrics. As Courtney Carver said on her blog Be more with less, “Eating at a restaurant with a 24 page menu can be overwhelming. The choosing becomes more important than the dining. Having too much to choose from is not always a blessing. Imagine never looking at a fully stuffed closet and thinking “I have nothing to wear” again. What if you knew exactly what you were going to wear every day?”
And it is because of Carver’s influence that I have decided to join Project 333 (albeit exactly 10 days late.) As with all minimalists, I want to live with less. Preparing for Tiny House has made me realize that because we will have little storage space and even at that much share said space, each of our clothing items should be worry-free and utilitarian. I am at a point in life where my clothes do not make me. They merely augment me. I am happy with who I am and what I stand for and I shouldn’t have to wear Vuitton loafers to gain attention.
So here it is……
You are invited to Project 333
3 months with 33 items
When: October 1 – December 31
What: 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes.
What not: these items are not counted as part of the 33 items – wedding ring, boxers, sleep, in-home lounge wear, ?workout clothing (you can only wear your workout clothing to workout), and my one business suit that I was required to buy for my day job.
How: over the next two months, outline your 33 items, by the 1st of October, box up the remainder of your fashion statement, seal it with tape and put it out of site.
What else: consider that you are creating a wardrobe that you can live, work and play in for three months. If you purchase items for project 333, stick with the one in, two out approach. Consider the essentials and stick to 33.
Here is my list:
- 1 pair of black Sketcher casual shoes
- 1 pair of sneakers
- 1 pair of rancher boots
- 1 pair of old (but still beloved) flip flops
- 2 coats
- 2 pair of blue jeans
- 1 pair of farm overalls
- 3 pair of wrinkle-free khakis
- 4 button-up, “dress” shirts
- 1 necktie
- 3 white t-shirts
- 6 t-shirts
- 1 brown belt
- 1 scarf
- 1 fleece skull cap
- + 4 items of clothing I may have overlooked….oh wait, I was wearing 1 pair of basketball shorts and 1 t-shirt when counting my items so technically I have room for 2 more items of clothing.
I think it is going to extremely interesting to see how I am able to stick to 33 items since the farm tends to get cold during the late fall and I typically have to buy a new thermal undershirt or at least a good sweater. Whatever the case, I am committed to this project and I do think I’ll be able to see it through. I am pleased I won’t feel pressure to buy anything special for the holidays or the occasional night out. Instead, I will challenge myself to mix and match even further finding comfort and style in each piece I own.
So, even though we are at least 10 days in, are you ready to join Project 333? Do you think you can live with just 33 items of clothing? Join up. At the very least visit all who are participating by “Liking” the Facebook fan page.