I'm into joining things. You might already know that (let's do a marathon after never having run a mile! Let's write a novel in November!). But then I'm into modifying the rules as I see fit (if possible — it's quite easy to modify NaNo to suit a person, less easy to run a marathon with anything but 26.2 miles).
Project 333 is just up my alley, and easily (too easily?) modified. The goal is simple: for three months, wear only 33 items. That includes shoes, jewelry and accessories (excludes jewelry you never take off, underwear, inhome loungewear, and workout clothes used solely for workouts).
I was drowning in clothes I didn't like. I'm not a big shopper and rarely buy new clothes, but I love a good thrift store run. I can come home with bags of things that, because I didn't try them on, end up fitting badly or not at all. And thrift stores also inspire in me that surety that I can become a new person (like a person who wears overalls! Usually a bad idea!). I'm much more critical when it comes to new clothes, which are usually restricted to jeans, undies, and dresses. If I'm paying $25 for one item? It had better look good. (Yes, I'm cheap, except for certain weaknesses. Fluevogs, I'm looking at you.)
So I had a closet full of bad ideas. I was ready for 333.
I separated my clothes (and shoes) into piles:
1. Junk – 2 trash bags. It was astonishing, really, the amount of clothing I had that needed to be thrown away. Jeans ripped through the crotch. Old tee-shirts with so many holes at the belly-button that the breeze blew through. Broken flip flops. Why was I saving these? Just in case? In case of what? (And yes, I know I could have recycled these items, cut them up for rags or repurposed them somehow. I didn't, though. I barely carved out time for this project — I had to remain realistic.)
2. Donate – 9 trash bags. This was the bulk of my clothing. If I didn't love it (and I mean LOVE it — I had to be convinced I would practically die if I got rid of it), even if it still fit and was in good repair, I put it in the donate pile. (My sister Bethany came over that night and made out like a BANDIT, which was nice, since she just got a swank new job and needed new clothes anyway.)
3. Love – large stack. I didn't presort them into the 33 pile, I just piled the love (and treasured sentimental) items.
Then, once the majority of the bags were in the hallway, I started going through the Love items, trying to cull them down to 33. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD THAT WAS? I had no idea it would be so hard, and I immediately started cheating. Using my cheats, I finally got the items to 33. You see that pink bin up there? It's larger than it looks in the photo. Everything that I loved that didn't make the 33 cut went in that bin and got stored in the top of my closet. In January, I'll donate what I haven't worn in my 33 pile (I'll bet there will be something) and then open the bin and decide if I want to cycle things in/out.
Oh, you want to know my cheats? Okay.
Handknits – no WAY do those count, but it's true these are more frequently culled than anything else I own.
Uniform – This felt more like the allowed workout clothing of the project. I have to wear it one place, and one place only.
Jewelry – I don't have much, and it's all costume, but I'm trying to remember to wear it more. I did go through and get rid of a lot of it, everything I didn't love.
Belts – I only have four, but… okay, I have no excuse. I just don't count them.
Bags – I've gone down to carrying only two bags — a large green shoulder bag when I'm working or writing (the laptop fits in it) and my poppy Queen Bee purse when I need something smaller.
Handmade things made AFTER the project began – The night after I did the culling, I needed to make a skirt from a Hawaiian shirt for my dad's wedding, so I'm enjoying that as a freebie.
Also, from all my wild thrift store purchases, I couldn't quite get rid of this.
Can't you just FEEL the velvety, shiny nap of that astonishingly ugly shirt? Yes, it's actually shiny in real life. It's amazing, right? I actually put the shirt in the bag to donate, thinking I'd never get around to repurposing it, but Bethany made me keep it (the only thing she made me keep) and she was right. It made the cutest skirt.
So this, shown below, is just about what I'm left with. (Two pair of jeans — that fit — are to the right of the folded skirts.)
For the extra curious (I always am), a list of everything I kept for the 33 is below in my own cryptic clothing shorthand.
Overall Findings So Far:
I am SO happy with this challenge. It's so enjoyable to go to the closet and love everything in it, to feel good in everything. Everything fits. Everything flatters. And I've been finding this surprising thing: I'm out of my perpetual day-off uniform — sweatpants and torn tee-shirt. I still own those sweats and a few of the non-holey tees (inhome lounge wear! Honest!) but instead of wearing them around the house, I'm wearing real clothes. When I decide to run to the grocery store, I just grab my wallet and keys, instead of looking down at myself and saying, "Dang. Can't go out like this."
My mother trained me well: when you get home, change into play clothes so you don't ruin the good clothes. I'm 39 and have done this my whole life. But where did that leave me? With a bunch of nice clothes I didn't like and a lot of tee shirts with holes in them.
I should wear what I like, even if the items get covered with pet hair. And eventually (this is hard for me to admit, truly), the things I like will wear out and I will have to buy new things. And that's okay. That's just fine. That's what happens.
So yay. Thumbs up. I'll keep you posted.
|Shoes||Red cowboy boots|
|Ruffle black heels|
|Low Aerosole black mary jane|
|Tops||Gray scoop short sleeve cowl|
|Purpe scoop short sleeve cowl|
|Blue scoop short sleeve cowl|
|Red Vee Ruched thin tee shirt|
|Slouchy black thin blouse|
|B/W thin pattern tee|
|Polka dot b/w tank|
|Ruffle black tank|
|Grn/whi polka dot blouse|
|Blue denim ruffle blouse|
|Eddie Bauer plaid gray skirt|
|Green/gray polkadot skirt|
|simple black skirt|
|Overwear||Black thin shrug acrylic|
|Gray sweater vest|
|Black slouchy thing|
|Grn plaid wool jacket|
|Dresses||Navy blue fancy|
|JLo black dress|
|b/w slouchy dress|
|Tanks, tees used in working out|
|Made things||Hawaiian skirt|
|skirt/cape – remake into skirt|
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