Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Project 333 (again)

I've mentioned Project 333 in past posts.  (I must have as I have a tag for it.) For those of you who aren't familiar, I'm not going to make you dig through my old posts to find it. Follow the link and you can learn all about the project.  The idea, in a nutshell, is a minimalist wardrobe experiment to wear thirty-three items of clothing (shoes and jewelry included, but pajamas, gym clothes, and socks not) for three months. I did this a couple years ago and was pretty good at keeping my wardrobe to about 33 items. This winter I went a tad crazy, thinking that more was better, and now have a very mish-mashed collection of un-matching clothes. It's pretty hideous.

The last time I did Project 333 I was living in Florida. Florida has two seasons: Damn-It's-Hot and Today-Isn't-Quite-As-Hot. When the temperature would dip below 40°F we knitters would put on all our scarves, hats, mittens, and shawls because we could. I had two basic wardrobes when I lived in Florida. One included lightweight skirts, pants and shirts plus a few pair of shorts. The other one included 3/4 length sleeves, long pants, sweaters one could layer and closed toe shoes. The sweaters were really for only wearing outside. Most of the time the temperatures were so hot indoors that one needed to peel a layer or two off to remain comfortable. (Movie theaters have their own temperature realm and it is always wise to bring along a shawl or blanket when you go to the movies.)

Now I live in Ohio. We have four real seasons (although it is officially spring and it has snowed two out of the past three days - go figure). We are edging out of winter, and while I will probably still need a light sweater or shawl to get through the season, I don't need all the millions of layers I have purchased this winter. So I'm starting over. I still need to go through the boxes I put away from my summer wardrobe, I am starting this year off with a cute black polka-dotted tank dress and black lightweight cardigan and a pair of almost new khaki linen pants. so that would be 3 things to my wardrobe. I have a couple of really nice shawls that I want to wear this spring that will accent well against more neutral colors, so we will see how this works out for me.

I love the idea of Project 333 and while I don't follow it exactly (I have 7 pieces of jewelry that I never change out and generally do not include my hand knit shawls in my count), I do attempt to keep my count down to around 35 pieces. I like to think of it as more of an intentional wardrobe rather than a minimalist wardrobe. Most people tend to wear the same 25 items of clothing anyway. They tend to reach for the same pants, shirts, and sweaters over and over again while their closets and wardrobes are bursting with the the things that they bought because they were adorable but that they wear only once or twice a year. Then they feel guilty for not wearing them so they don't get rid of them, vowing that they will wear them again, someday. By the time they realize that they should really have worn them all along they also realize that they are now out of season or grossly out of style.

I want to have a wardrobe that is simple, interchangeable, and shows off my handknits. I also want to make more seasonally appropriate handknits so I have things I can wear all year long. I'll keep you posted as I start putting my spring attire together. In the meantime, check out Project 333, especially if you are unhappy with the way your wardrobe is looking.

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