7 Ways Dressing with Less will Improve Your Life


When I launched minimalist fashion Project 333 on October 1st, 2010, I thought it would be fun. I thought it would be challenging. I thought it would be revealing. What I didn't think is that it would improve my life.

Before I tell you about all the improvements I've seen personally, I should probably tell more about this project. Project 333 started as an experiment in living with less, and quickly morphed into part of my everyday life. Today, thousands of people around the world participate and you can too. Here are the rules...

The Basics

  • When: Every three months (It’s never too late to start so join in anytime!)
  • What: 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes.
  • What not: these items are not counted as part of the 33 items – 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)
  • How: Choose your 33 items, box up the remainder of your fashion statement, seal it with tape and put it out of site.
  • What else: consider that you are creating a wardrobe that you can live, work and play in for three months. Remember that this is not a project in suffering. If your clothes don’t fit or are in poor condition, replace them.

For more details, check out this helpful guide.

Project 333 has improved my life in the following ways


1. I am ready on time. My husband may disagree that I am ready on time, every time, but he will tell you that it takes me less time to get ready. There is no changing into several outfits trying to decide on the perfect thing to wear. I love that I can be ready with a moment's notice.

2. I don't shop for clothes. Prior to Project 333, if I was shopping, I would "pick something up" to spruce up my wardrobe. Sometimes I would buy something because I was "sick of everything in my closet" or "I had nothing to wear". Sometimes it was love. "I LOVE those shoes." I can honestly say, that doesn't happen to me anymore. Yes, I admire fashion, but I don't have have a desire for more. Now I plan to shop the week before each new phase, if needed. When I buy something new, it will be thoughtfully considered as part of my quarterly capsule wardrobe.

3. I look better. Almost each of my 33 pieces work well together. Because I chose each item to fit well, be well made and be versatile, when I get dressed, it looks like I did it on purpose vs. just throwing something on. While people don't notice that I am working with a very small collection of clothes, they do notice that what I wear compliments my body. Trust me when I say, this was not always the case.

4. I am meeting really cool, like minded people. Yes, I'm talking about you! Through twitter, facebook, and email we are connecting. I love that I have this great opportunity to exchange ideas and encouragement with smart men and woman who want to simplify their lives.

5. I am maintaining a healthy weight. Dressing with less isn't directly helping me to cut calories, but gone are the days of skinny clothes and fat clothes. Knowing that I am working with clothes that fit, I am determined to make them fit for three months. (If you do gain or lose a significant amount of weight during your 3 months, please replace clothing that does not fit. This is not a project in suffering.)

6. I have more time. Because I am not thinking about what I am going to wear, trying on clothes, shopping for clothes or worrying about what I am wearing or what I am missing, I have more time and attention for things and people that that I care about.

7. I have more money. The 33 items in Project 333 include accessories like jewelry, sunglasses, and purses. I really like those things and used to spend gobs of money on them. Now, I appreciate them, but they are not important to me. I also spend less at the dry cleaner because the majority of my items can be washed by me.

This experiment in dressing with less is for men and women of all ages and is changing closets around the world. What do you want to know about Project 333?

Project 333 experiments in living with less

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Photo: EvelynGiggles/Flickr


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