Article by Lauren: Bneato team member (reprinted from the February 2013 Bneato Newsletter)
Beth first brought Project 333 to my attention before the holidays and asked if I wanted to blog about it. I checked it out, and it intimidated me. The gist is, you pare down to thirty-three items of clothing (including outerwear like jackets, shoes, accessories and even jewelry; excluding under garments, PJs and workout gear) for three months. The woman who created the concept lists the items she chose and how living with less made her a convert. I’m by no means a fashionista, but I don’t like looking like I wear the same thing every few days. Plus I like to have variety of items, and even indulge in some trends (color, prints, etc.), which is difficult to do when you have a wardrobe consisting of 33 items. Typically most items are neutrals so they can be mixed and matched with as many options as possible.
When I realized I was moving I thought I’d take on an altered version of Project 333 and would cut down my wardrobe as much as possible, living with only what I needed for one month while my stuff went into storage. One of my immediate concerns was that I was starting a new job and knew I’d need some professional clothing. Luckily, I’m working at a start-up where most of the guys wear jeans and a button down flannel shirt or a hoodie. But that’s not me; and I am the client service rep. so I wanted to look professional. Having lived in NYC for many years I adopted the mantra ‘Dress for the job you want, not the job you have’ and I guess that’s stuck with me even now that I’m in laid-back California.
It took two days of re-evaluating, but I was finally able to get my clothing down to 50 items. And that was a huge accomplishment considering I had already packed at least 4 large boxes of clothes and shoes. I included 2 coats, 2 suits, 4 dresses, 3 skirts, 8 sweaters, 7 work tops, 7 casual tops, 1 scarf/mitten/hat set, 2 dress pants, 4 casual pants, 2 leggings, 2 pairs of heels, 3 flats, 1 moccasin, and 2 pairs boots (uggs, and rain – which I didn’t want to bring but it was rainy when I was packing so I kept them out). I did not count jewelry, underwear/panty hose, workout clothes, or pjs – but I only brought what I needed of those).
Once I arrived to my temporary living situation and unpacked, I realized I could’ve done with less. I could’ve cut out at least one thing from each category and been totally fine. I was scared to live with less, but I think it would’ve made my life simpler – and my suitcase lighter! I’m now more open to the Project 333 challenge and think I might do it for real now that I’ve tested the waters. Something tells me this would be easier come summer time. I do enjoy living with less clutter in general, and while I always try to keep my clothes to a minimum, clearly I could be doing a better job! Project 333 has opened my eyes and I will look at the purchase of clothing a little differently now.