Project 333: Month 3 Update & Final Conclusions

I DID IT! I went 3 months with just 33 items in my closet! I can’t believe I’m already done with this challenge- it feels like I started it yesterday! To recap: #Project333 is a minimalistic fashion challenge created by Courtney Carver of the blog, Be More With Less. The basics of this challenge is to live with 33 items of items for 3 months, hence the 333. I started this challenge back in mid-January and just completed it on Easter Sunday.

If you missed my introductory post about #Project333, including the rules and whatnot, you can find it here.

During the beginning of my challenge, I had originally planned to do a weekly recap of my outfits, but then I realized the “Hey guys this week I wore..” post would be a little too repetitive. So instead, I did a monthly recap and added some things I learned about myself throughout that entire month.

The collages below include all my outfits for the third and final month of this challenge. I’d say some of my most worn products were the dark wash jeggings and purple converse. I was already in a groove by the time the last month came around and it was really nice because I looked out together most of the time. I learned that my go to outfit I went to when I was in a rush was a nice shirt/blouse with a scarf and pants. I might have already mentioned this, but I’ll reiterate that no one noticed that I was wearing the same pants or leggings consecutively. Most of my friends didn’t even know that I was doing this challenge unless I had previously told them.

I did come close to breaking my rule of not shopping for new clothes. My professional fraternity’s formal was recently and I almost went shopping for a new jumpsuit to wear to the event. Fortunately, I decided against it and wore the black dress that was already in my 33 items. Funny enough, this was the only time I wore the dress, in all of the 3 months. I wore the same dress to last year’s formal and got even more compliments this time because I rocked the dress. Black never goes out of style, it’s timeless!

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

Back to the bigger picture: in the 12 weeks of my Project 333 challenge, I created 84 outfits from just 33 items. I honestly believe that I could create more outfits with my 33 item capsule wardrobe. So here is my round up post of Project 333, here we go…

My biggest takeaway from the challenge..

In the beginning, I thought my biggest takeaway would be to gain greater creativity from creating different outfits from a limited wardrobe but I’d classify this as one of the best things of the challenge.

My biggest takeaway was realizing how much unnecessary stuff I have in my life and how I put value on material things.

When I chose my 33 items at the beginning of the challenge, I put the rest of my clothes in garbage bags and didn’t touch it. Most of the stuff in those boxes are old and ill fitting on me. The reason why I still have them is due to sentiment and an unhealthy motivation to ‘fit back into those clothes’. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. We all have that one blouse or those pair of jeans that are just a little too tight but we still keep them to use as motivation to lose weight. Not only is this unhealthy and unattainable, it also makes us add unnecessary pressure on ourselves and value beauty on a physical level.

Through out this challenge, I learned to be more accepting of the changes my body has gone through. My body is no longer as thin as it was when I ran cross country in high school. My body is curvier and my legs are stronger because I added strength training to my exercise routine. With these changes, of course my old jeans won’t fit anymore. I stopped focusing so much on my weight and size and instead focused on how my body feels. When you feel healthy and are getting in enough exercise and eating enough whole foods, little things such as waist size shouldn’t hold a high standard in your mind.

Since I didn’t shop for clothes for 3 months, I had more time to read books I’ve been meaning to read. I also had more time to myself and write about my thoughts. I spent most of my downtime with family and friends, where we actually did things besides shopping. We place so much our time and value into material things, we should really putting that effort into having different experiences.

Did I get bored?

I rarely got bored with this challenge. Refer to best things about this challenge (below).

What were my most worn items?

Definitely my black leggings, dark was jeggings, chambray shirt and scarves. I also wore my dark brown boots quite a bit to get me through the rainy weather.

Was there anything I didn’t wear?

Hah, yes! I didn’t end up wearing my white blouse with black polka dots because I forgot about it (and it no longer fit me haha). So really, I did this challenge with 32 items 😉

Best thing about the challenge?

Having a uniform. Every morning, I spent maybe 5 minutes getting dressed because I already had an idea of what I wanted to wear. The best thing about this was knowing that I would look good with whatever I chose that day since most of the items meshed well together. This made my confidence soar, which positively translated to how I carried myself.

Hardest thing about the challenge?

Aside from almost breaking the no shopping rule, nothing was hard about this challenge. If anything, I was motivated to create a new outfit for each day of the challenge.

Will I keep it up?

I would like to! I need to replace some of the items in my capsule wardrobe like my black flats. After the Memphis trip, I retired my black flats and am currently looking for black flats and casual shoes that are comfortable, stylish, and stood in for long periods of time.

I love the idea of changing the wardrobe based on the seasons. I feel like this approach is better for me, only because my wardrobe isn’t very ‘interchangable’ (yet). If I do this challenge again, I’ll approximate the 33 since it is a good amount to strive to and keep less hangers in my closet.

Interested in taking on the Project 333 challenge?

YAS! You definitely should! For more information on how to get started and what the rules of this challenge are, check out Courtney Carver’s website Be More With Less. Her blog is a wonderful resource for minimalist living and decluttering your life, so definitely visit her blog. It will be worth your time! 🙂

Hope you have a  wonderful week!

Samantha

 

Project 333, Month 2 Update

Hello!! The second month of my Project 333 experiment has passed and it went by so fast! To put things into perspective, I went eight weeks of just wearing the 33 items I chose back in mid January (aside from PJs and workout clothes). My 33 items have brought me through the California winter and through the 2 weeks of non-stop pouring rain and a few days of hail. For 8 weeks, I have saved at least 15 minutes every morning on deciding what to wear- that’s 15 extra minutes of sleep! Looking back now, there are 3 main things I learned about minimalism and how is has been a positive change to my life.

Week 5

1. Owning a lot of stuff is extremely overrated- I know I might have already touched on this fact, but it is just so true! Since starting Project 333, I have not gone shopping for clothes simply because I didn’t want to and didn’t need to(and also the fact that I couldn’t due to the challenge, but I digress). The idea of going clothes shopping gives me anxiety and I never really buy anything anyway, window shopping was my idea of shopping. On the occasion that I do tag along with my mom or friends on their shopping trips and I do see a clothing item that catches my eye, I always ask myself “Do I really need this?” If the answer is no, then I put the item back to the rack and continue on with my day.

Living with just a 33 item wardrobe has put into perspective how much value I put on material things. For example, when I was sorting out my clothes and choosing my 33 items, I thought I wouldn’t be able to last one month because I put a lot of aesthetic value in a blouse I love wearing. I ultimately didn’t choose that particular blouse because it wouldn’t be very functional especially in cold weather. It’s been two months since I’ve seen the blouse and I don’t value it as much as I did. Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to wearing the blouse again, but am I ‘dying’ over the fact that I haven’t worn it in 8 weeks? No, not at all!

Week 6

2. No one cares more about your appearance than YOU- In the past two months of wearing just 33 items, no one has said anything about my repetition in outfits. No once batted an eye or looked down at me when I wore the same pants two days in a row. In fact, I think I’ve gotten more compliments on my outfits since I started this challenge! I think it’s because most of my items can be worn in a business casual setting, therefore making e appear more put together than I normally am. This is also the reason why I stress less about what to wear each day because my options are streamlined and I already know that I will look presentable. When I look great, I feel great and no one can give me that confidence but me!

Week 7

3. The key to minimalist style is utility and function- Referring back to my blouse story in #1, the blouse I was taking about was sleeveless, cropped, and made with a thin, chiffon like material (probably polyester, but I’m not too sure). It simply didn’t make sense for me to include it with my Project 333 wardrobe because it wouldn’t serve a functional purpose in keeping me warm, only an aesthetical one in making me look hot AF.  In all seriousness, the majority of the clothes I’ve been wearing lately can easily be layered and worn in both cool and warm weather. If you are considering doing a Project 333 of your own, I highly recommend choosing clothes that serve a multiple purposes. Questions like “Can this be layered?”, “Will this keep me warm/cool?”, and “Can this match with anything?” can serve as criteria when narrowing down your minimalist wardrobe.

Week 8

Those are the three things I learned about minimalism and Project 333. I can honestly say that this minimalist fashion challenge gives be peace of mind and more time to sleep. It has decluttered my mind and given me more confidence in myself and also how I present myself to other people. Although there are only 4 more weeks to go, I genuinely see myself continuing on with this challenge this year and in the future!

Peace, love and blessings!

Samantha

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Project 333, Month 1 Update

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Week4, Saturday: I was home ALL day, so I didn’t bother to change out of my PJs!

One month of #Project333 has passed and I survived! This minimalist fashion challenge was way easier than I anticipated. I may have undercompensated my materialistic attachment to my original closet or maybe I just have sheer determination to participate whole heartedly in this challenge.. or maybe a bit of both! 🙂 Here are 3 things I learned about myself during Month 1:

  1. 33 items is adequate – Simplifying my closet down to just thirty three items (including shoes and jewelry) was definitely daunting at first but once I finalized my wardrobe, creating outfits was so simple and easy. The key to making this smooth transition from a full closet to a closet that barely uses even half the closet space, is to choose versatile clothing items. By versatile I mean items that can be easily layer-able and can match any color. The foundation of my Project 333 wardrobe is built on dark, earthy colors: black, gray, dark green. I then threw in some patterns (striped shirts) and color (green and red clothing items and multi color scarves) because they matched my dark items.
  2. Black leggings will become your best friend (if they aren’t already) – They’re comfy, slimming, can be worn with anything. Need I say more?!
  3. You care more about your appearance than other people – You know that saying “Dress to impress”? While some use it to justify dressing nice for other people, I use it as motivation to dress for myself. I find that when I use this approach in choosing my outfit, my confidence soars which translates to how other people perceive me. During this challenge, I wore the same pair of pants on two consecutive days at least twice and no one noticed. People don’t pay attention to what you wear, but they do pay attention to how you present yourself and how you made them feel. So go ahead and wear that blouse or pant twice in a row, if it makes you feel good, do it!! To be honest, having different classes MWF and TTh helps because you see different people everyday and no one notices what you are wearing.

This concludes my first month recap of Project 333! I am having a lot of fun doing this challenge and have noticed that there are more items I wear more than others. My black leggings and anorak jacket have been the real MVPs this month in keeping me warm and comfortable. Then there is some stuff I haven’t worn yet (skirt, dress, pantsuit, sleeveless blouses), due to the winter season and rainy weather. Once spring comes along, I cannot wait to see what outfits I come up with! I highly encourage you all to give Project 333 a try because it takes you out of your comfort zone and may even make you rethink your relationship to material things. If you do, please share your adventures and post on social media using the hashtag #Braidologie4Project333 so I can see! 🙂

-Samantha

 

Project 333, Week 2: Repetition

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The second week of Project 333 has gone by smoothly. I definitely repeated some items such as my khaki anorak jacket and my burgundy cardigan. Before I started this minimalist fashion challenge, I was worried that people would notice if I wore something twice, but to be honest NO ONE cares (or notices!). If anything, I got more compliments this week for my outfit choices than before I had started the challenge. This could be due to the fact that I sometimes wore my workout outfits to class, but since Project 333 dictates that workout clothes to be worn only when working out, I am forced to wear more appropriate clothing. Some other things I noticed this week were:

  1. With less items in my wardrobe, I am doing less laundry. Yay for lowering my carbon footprint!
  2. Even with a significantly smaller closet, I haven’t worn everything I chose (yet).
  3. Black leggings are a girl’s best friend! Fleece lined leggings are extremely helpful.
  4. Scarves bring your outfit up an extra level.

I would say my triumphs for this week was my morning routine be more efficient and productive. Happy to say that I did not have any challenges this past week, I am planning to continue this streak!

Samantha 

My introduction to this minimalist fashion challenge and a list of my 33 items can be found here

Catch me on Instagram and Twitter for weekly updates! 🙂

Project 333, Week 1: Uniform

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The first week of #Project333 went by a lot smoother than I expected. One of the first things I noticed was how much time I saved getting ready in the morning. I like to think that I’m a pretty low maintenance person, it takes me 30 minutes to get ready and I don’t wear makeup. One the first day of this fashion challenge, I must have shaved at least 10 minutes off of my morning routine. It was spectacular! Having less items in my wardrobe streamlined my approach to getting ready and I didn’t have to ponder about my outfit for the day.

This leads me to the second thing I noticed: my subconscious has created a uniform of pants, a nice shirt, and scarf. I find that wearing a scarf is as fashionable as it is functional. Not only do I look more put together, it keeps me warm in the midst of the cool, January breeze. What also amazed me was how many looks I was able to create with a limited wardrobe size. Of the 33 items I chose, I only wore 13 of the items. This doesn’t include my workout clothes and shoes (sidenote: I did exercise for at least 30 min everyday this week).

My triumphs for the first week of #Project333 was that I saved time getting ready and that I have a baseline uniform that looks stylish and is appropriate during a California winter (in both school and work settings). I am happy to say that I did not have any challenges with this challenge and I intend to keep it that way for the next 11 weeks!  🙂

Samantha

My introduction to this minimalist fashion challenge and a list of my 33 items can be found here.

 

Getting Back to Basics: My #Project333 Experiment

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Image from original Project333 blog, Be More With Less.

I recently watched the film, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things and find myself thoroughly fascinated by the minimalist movement. Up until I watched the documentary, I only associated minimalism with running shoes. While watching Minimalism, my mind was expanded about the idea of living simply and valuing human interaction instead of purchasing material goods. I find the concrete hold that the advertising industry has on our economy, culture, and societal interactions both captivating and horrifying because of its seemingly inconspicuous influence it has on human behavior. It is what provides the basis of the American Dream, a template many people have used to find happiness. While this has motivated millions to work harder and earn more money to buy more material goods, it also infects the mind with the primal state of being dissatisfied and wanting more. Now I won’t go into much more detail because the film does an incredible job of explaining the minimalist movement. It is so good in fact, I watched it twice in the same day. Once by myself, before a purged my closet and the second time with my family later that night.

Now without further ado, allow me to explain my thought process of attempting to de-clutter my closet. Cleaning out my closet was always on my to do list for a while now. I never got the chance to actually do it because of the my chaotic schedule and wanting to do other things, like taking a nap or binge watching Netflix (clearly my priorities were straight). After watching Minimalism and some browsing about #Project333, I immediately went to my room and took everything that was in my closet and dumped it on my bed and bedroom floor. And I sincerely do mean everything! My first thought when I looked at my room was ‘Holy sh*t, how do I have so much stuff?!’ It was truly bizarre experience for me to see my closet so empty. I had this naive notion that didn’t have that much stuff but working and sifting through 133 pieces of clothing, 13 scarves, and 14 pairs of shoes blew that out of the water. Deciding which clothes to donate and which to box was extremely cathartic.


#Project333

What is it? Project 333 is a minimalist fashion challenge created by Courtney Carver of the blog, Be More with Less, that invites you to create and live with a wardrobe of 33 items or less in 3 months. For more information on how this challenge got started and guidance on how to begin, please click here.

The Rules

  1. 33 Items in 3 Months- This includes clothing, outerwear, shoes, jewelry, and accesories. For my experiment I am not including my backpack and purse because I’m still in school and will need those items for what I have planned for this semester.
    1. What is NOT included in the 33: “wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear,  and workout clothing (you can only wear your workout clothing to workout)
    2. I will embark on this challenge from January 23-April 16 (Easter)
  2. Once you have chosen your 33 items, take the rest of your clothes out of the closet and pack them into bags/boxes, seal it with tape, and place it out of sight.
  3. While sifting through your closet, decide which clothes to donate and which ones to keep.
  4. No shopping during the experiment- Trade the time that you would normally use to shop to do productive activities such as talking to a friend, reading a book, taking a walk, take a nap, etc.

My 33 Items:

  1. Dark brown boots
  2. Black ankle wedge booties
  3. Black wedges with gold toe trim
  4. Black flats
  5. Gym shoes (Blue, my retired running shoes)
  6. Current running shoes (Purple)
  7. Purple converse
  8. Teal Pashmina scarf
  9. Black-grey ombre pashmina scarf
  10. Multicolor scarf
  11. 1 pair of black leggings (not pictured, was being washed at the time)
  12. 1 pair of earrings (not pictured, being worn at the time)
  13. Black jumpsuit
  14. Khaki anorak jacket
  15. Maroon knit cardigan
  16. Black and white striped skirt
  17. Chambray button up shirt
  18. Little black dress with sheer long sleeves
  19. Dark blue wash skinny jeans
  20. Olive green skinny jeans
  21. Grey skinny jeans
  22. Black pants
  23. Red cropped slacks
  24. Tan knit blouse
  25. Dark blue sleeveless blouse
  26. White button up dress shirt with black polka dots (short sleeve)
  27. Navy blue t shirt
  28. White and black striped t shirt
  29. Black and white striped 3/4 sleeved shirt with hoodie
  30. Black and tan long sleeved knit top
  31. Black long sleeved blouse
  32. Basic black long sleeved shirt, v neck
  33. Basic emerald long sleeved shirt, v neck

*Since I am doing this challenge during my last semester of college and am involved on on campus organizations, I will be rotating 4 polo shirts when I attend the meetings since it is required. These shirts will only be worn during the duration of the meetings, not the entire day.

How did I manage to single out 33 items out of the 133+ items I own? I mainly stuck with neutral colors (black, grey, white, brown) because they can be watched with any color. I deliberately chose three scarves to provide a variety of looks and I can be pretty handy with different ways to tie a scarf. I thought about the events I have going on in the next 3 months; I have a research conference to go to in April and I’m also working part-time at a physical therapy clinic, so I was intentionally choosing pieces that are business casual. Since it’s also winter, I choose pieces that could be layered for utility and warmth. I was able to cut my shoe inventory in half of what I initially started with, which is always a plus! Surprisingly, this was the first and easiest category of items I worked through.

So yes, my wardrobe for the next three months will only consist of 33 items. I will keep you all updated weekly with my outfits for that week, along with the week’s triumphs and challenges. What I hope to achieve with this fashion challenge is to decrease the amount of stuff I have in my life and learn to be happy with just the essentials. I am very much looking forward to not being distracted and not wasting 10 minutes of my morning on deciding on an outfit.  Interested in doing this challenge with me? Great! I dare you to! Give me a shout out on social media with the hashtag #Braidologie4Project333 so I can see your posts!

Wish me luck!

Samantha