Monday, November 29, 2010

My take on Project 333 (minimalist clothing)

Minimalist fashion has fascinated me for most of my adult life, so the idea behind Project 333 -- committing to a 33-piece wardrobe for 3 months was instantly appealing. I made my list and set off to live minimally only to discover I ALREADY AM. The first clue should have been that I had trouble coming up with 33 items; all I had to do was move one pair of jeans and a couple of long-sleeved tees to the bottom drawer, and I was good to go. Instead, I've used the experience as a chance to reflect on the preconditions for minimalism.

1) My existing wardrobe is already designed to be flexible. I buy very few patterned items, choose solid colors that go together, and reply on accessories to jazz up my outfits. Yay, earrings. Boo, having to count them on the list.

2) The project rules exclude underwear from the list of 33 items, which happens to coincide with my own personal philosophy that life is too short for boring undies.

3) The biggest challenge was their choice of dates (October 1- December 31), which in the Washington D.C. area can run the gamut from low 80s to 8" of snow. My "winter" season, (wardrobally speaking) runs from Hallowe'en to St. Patrick's Day.

I would quibble with some of their rules: a bracelet counts, but wedding rings don't? Please! Until we have full marriage equality, I would argue that participants could be allowed one exempt item of jewelry, to accommodate anything worn on a regular basis for symbolic or sentimental reasons. Also, in my world, a purse is not a wardrobe item, it's strictly practical. (Why is purse on the list, and not wallet?) I carry a largish tote to work (papers, books, wallet, lunch) and a smaller bag (wallet, phone, notebook) all other times. If I switched to a shopping bag for everything, would it count or not? Ditto sunglasses. My little clip-on sunglasses are not a fashion item (as my son assures me); I wear them because the light hurts my eyes.

If you like the idea of Project 333, you'll probably enjoy the other posts on the Be More with Less website. Lots of tasty food for thought.


"Mittsie" said...

I had the same predicament with the "winter" here in Ontario. The weather here seems to have multiple personality disorder and can change SIGNIFICANTLY. Or the snow can go into April ... if we get ANY.

Jo said...

I mainly solve the problem by layering; I have very few really heavy clothes. My lightweight long underwear is my secret weapon!