Project 333: The Wardrobe

Earlier this week I shared a new endeavour I’ve undertaken to get a better handle on my wardrobe. For the next 3 months, this is the wardrobe I’m working with:DSC07385It doesn’t actually look that minimal to me, although to be fair I have bent some of the rules. Although there are in fact 33 items pictured above, I decided not to count my shoes after all – I did a decent job of decluttering my shoes a while ago, and wearing only those three pairs (one pair of runners, one pair of casual sandals, one pair of dressier sandals) will just wear out those shoes and my feet. This is not a project in pointless suffering! So since I am just getting started, I’m not going to count shoes. Having un-counted those three pairs, I added in another top, and I’ve been wearing a jacket that is not pictured either. True Project 333-ers include jewellery in their count, but I am not. Down the road, if I repeat this challenge, I might be a little stricter with myself, especially if the next two and a half months go as well as the last two weeks have.

So far, I am enjoying that my closet isn’t packed, that the clothes I’m choosing from all fit and are seasonally appropriate. I tried to choose clothes that mix and match fairly well, and so far it seems that was a success. Limiting myself to one pair of jeans may have been a bit ambitious, especially since the weather cooled down for a few days, but it has worked out thus far. I might swap one of my dresses out for a second pair of jeans before I head home to Victoria just to be on the safe side.

For those of you who could care less about my clothes – if you’re still reading thank you for bearing with me ๐Ÿ™‚ I will try to move on to broader topics soon! I’m always surprised what a nerve this topic touches off though, probably because clothes are so personal. In our culture it is so easy to accumulate stuff and quickly own more than we need or even use, and it’s just as true with clothes as anything else. Whether our wardrobes are the result of retail therapy, great sales, love of fashion, or the generosity of others, it is a very personal topic that we can easily become wrapped up in and take a great deal of our identity from.

I’d love to have a conversation in the comments – is thinking this much about clothes completely self-absorbed? Or potentially useful, maybe? How big is your own wardrobe?


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Susan 15-05-2013, 23:36

My wardrobe is ridiculously big (generosity of others) and I think this idea is more useful than anything else. I haven’t done anything about it yet, but at least this gives me an idea of what I could do. I don’t think it’s self-absorbed; like you said, clutter is clutter, and bogs us down no matter how it shows up. I’m glad you’re exploring this, and that you’re sharing your thoughts & execution of it with the rest of us.

What Happened to Week Seven | Project 333 29-05-2013, 12:29

[…] Alyssa and her 33 […]

Debbie Roes 31-05-2013, 18:36

Alyssa, I was happy to find your blog through the Project 333 site! I have been doing Project 333 since the beginning of April and have been posting weekly updates on my blog. Like you, I did not count shoes or jewelry in my 33 items. I have learned a lot about myself and my wardrobe through doing Project 333 and I think you will, too. I wish you the very best of luck!

In response to your questions, I too worried that thinking so much about clothes was completely self-absorbed. In fact, I was nervous to start my blog, which is focused on compulsive shopping and my personal journey to stop shopping so much and to pare down my wardrobe. However, judging from the excellent response I’ve had to my blog, I think a lot of people struggle with these issues. Many readers have commented that they are happy that I’ve raised the issues I discuss in my posts, as shopping is a genuine problem for many people but is something that is joked about often in society (just the term “retail therapy” is evidence of that).

My own wardrobe is still quite large but has been pared down a lot this year and especially since starting Project 333. I started the year with 272 garments (not counting pajamas, undergarments, and workout/lounge wear) and 53 pairs of shoes. I’ve pared down the garments to just over 200 at this point, but I still have a lot of shoes at this point. I am not sure what an optimal number would be. I think it’s different for everyone. For me, I want to be wearing everything I have on a regular basis and to be getting rid of things because they are worn out rather than because I don’t have room in my closet or I made a wrong choice in buying things in the first place.

I hope you write about Project 333 again. I’d love to read about your experience as you go through the program!

alyssa 31-05-2013, 20:17

Hi Debbie, so glad we could connect through Project 333! It’s neat to see how much there is to learn about ourselves on the inside simply by being more aware of the reasons why we act the way we do. I am definitely working on being less of a “bargain shopper” who spends small amounts of money on clothes and shoes that are cheaply made and not particularly comfortable when I could spend more money per wardrobe item to have clothes that last and that I enjoy wearing!
I enjoyed your latest blog post and hope you’ll check back from time to time ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it would be interesting to try this challenge next season as well!

Project 333 Update ยป Moving With God 03-07-2013, 07:21

[…] has been almost two months since I chose my 33-item wardrobe, and so far the project has been a definite success! I spent a month visiting my parents, and […]

What Happened to Week Seven - Be More with Less 06-11-2015, 15:38

[…] Alyssa and her 33 […]


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