Decisions, Decisions
Words on a Reminder Card

My Closet: A Metaphor for Life, Part III

I developed my personal wardrobe-philosophy over a lifetime of studying fashion, shopping, and twirling in front of mirrors.  

You know . . . 

  • Start with the basics.
  • Invest in high-quality items.
  • You can't go wrong with accessories.
  • Every woman needs (at least one) LBD.
  • Never get rid of a Burberry coat.
  • A scarf will pull it all together.
  • "If you don't absolutely love it in the store, you won't wear it."  (Sandra Bullock in The Blindside)
  • "Once you've dressed, and before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off."  (Coco Chanel)

And, really.  I lived that philosophy.  (Except for the Burberry coat.  Which I have never owned.)

What did it get me?  A closet full of clothes . . . that I thought I loved; that I thought I needed.


Then, I met Project 333.  Talk about another perspective!

Project 333 is a minimalist fashion challenge that invites participants to dress using 33 items (or less!) for 3 months.

33 items, people.  Including shoes, jewelry, coats, and handbags.  You might imagine my reaction.  (Let's just say it involved the F-word, followed by a reference to myself.)  

But I was intrigued.

33 items?

I read all about it.  I checked out the Facebook page. I read blogs of Project 333 participants.  I even took the Project 333 microcourse because I wanted to learn more about minimizing my maxi-sized wardrobe.  The microcourse was just what I needed, actually, to get me thinking about my wardrobe and my clothes and my philosophy.  To think about WHY.  To think about how it all fits together.  To . . . explore the possibility . . . of reducing my wardrobe.

But, still.  I knew that Project 333 wasn't really for me.  [Because accessories!  I might be able to whittle my wardrobe down to 33 pieces . . . but I would never be able to give up my jewelry or my scarves or my handbags and shoes.  (Just no.)]

So, while I'm not climbing on the Project 333 bandwagon, I am folding many of its principles into my wardrobe-philosophy:

  • Love every piece in your closet!
  • Only wear what looks good and feels good.
  • Be creative in mixing and matching.
  • Shop for what you need; don't just wander and see what "grabs you."
  • Start with the basics.
  • Invest in high-quality clothing that lasts.


And with that, I started a major closet overhaul.  I emptied everything out of my closet(s) and drawers and shelves.  I sorted.  I bagged.  I donated.  I shared.  I sorted some more.  I packed some things away to decide later.  I sorted some more.  In fact, I'm still sorting!  Every time I put something on, I question myself.  Do you love this?  Sometimes I realize I don't.  So out it goes.


Although I know my wardrobe is still WAY too full to achieve minimalist standards, I've come a long way.  It feels really liberating to love everything in my closet; to wear everything in my closet; to be able to see space between the hangers!  

And I'm not finished yet.  The sorting will continue. . .  





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So inspiring! I have dabbled with the Project 333 idea for awhile now. Just don't have the nerve to do it. I don't have a lit of accessories (jewelry, scarves). I've never felt very confident with bold statements like that. But I'm finding that I hold onto clothes I don't love "just in case". A terrible reason. I love the pics you posted. Maybe I will have a go at my closet this weekend. Thanks for sharing.


I read about 333 through the year it started and read Beverly's blog about her experience. It was a little to radical for me even though my closet is quite minimal (after a purge similar to yours). Then along came 52 in 52. That was more doable to me. I have just over 52 pieces in my closet and have made a couple of my own rules for accessories and jewelry. It is liberating and one of the best things I've ever done for my wardrobe and my life.


Luckily, the thing that helps keep me most in check is my miniscule closet. And I have never made it a habit to keep my clothes anyplace but in my own closet (i.e., not in the kids' closet, not in the coat closet, not in a rolling wardrobe in the basement or attic). Still, every now and then it gets a bit crowded and there is a need to purge!


I don't advocate my closet rule as a good idea, it only benefits my love of shopping and keeping my closet approaching respectable...only close, mind you! My rule is simple, if I buy a new item, an old one must go. I usually keep a donation bag going all the time. It's my. One rule and I live by it strictly. Sometimes hard, sometimes easy. Yet it only gets me to approaching a respectable closet!


I think you lost me at shoes. Is that two items or one? Then I realized it wouldn't matter. Shoes and accessories would do me in. Looking forward to following your journey, though.


I've never heard of this before but could probably live it with no problem. Clothes just don't mean that much to me and I rarely accessorize.
Good luck with this! Let us know how it is going. :)


sorry for the delayed comment - I think this is a great idea! certainly makes getting dressed easier when you don't have so many options! and of course loving it all (and having it fit well) is a huge help, too. looking forward to seeing and hearing more about this!

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