Ladyloafer’s first post on this blog was about decluttering, and while I have minimalised a massive amount of things, my downfall is clothes.
It’s not like I’m a fashionista or anything! Some people look naturally stylish, others look distinctively, individually cool. Me? Mostly I look like a dog’s dinner. A dog’s dinner on laundry day.
While I very much like the idea of having a classic capsule wardrobe, of good quality, well made, long lasting pieces, supplemented with a few seasonal statement items (see, I know all the special words!), the reality is, mostly I buy what I like the look of from mid to low priced high street shops, supplemented by the odd splurge from Debenhams. I never buy ‘an outfit’, I buy items with the intent of mixing and matching with things I already own.
And I own a lot of things. I do clear out, I really do. The local charity shops has donations of goods from me several times a year, and yet I keep replacing them! (Often with ‘bargains’ from those same charity shops).
A few years ago I counted up all the items of clothes I had; coats, shoes, nightwear, daywear and work clothes, it came to 145 items. *cue, shocked and embarrassed face*
A year or so later I recounted; 143 (I’d got rid of more than 2 things, but obviously acquired more).
Hmm, still shameful. Now while that did include many things that are seasonal, such as winter coats and boots, or summer shorts and vest tops, (and 13 items are work provided clothes), even so that’s a hundred or so different items of clothing.
What. The. Hell??!
Really? Who needs this many things? I don’t even have space for them. Extreme seasonal items sit in the vacuum storage bags under my bed, and less worn things sit in boxes. This is pointless, because if you can’t see them, you forget about them. And you don’t miss them, until…you open a box and then think, oh, I might wear it one day…
No, no, no. I won’t. But I might? And so on.
This is where Project 333 comes in.
Just to state, I am not involved in either of these in any way, I just enjoy them.
The aim of Project 333 is to minimise the amount of clothing you have available to you for a 3 month period.
From the website;
When: Every three months (It’s never too late to start so join in anytime!)
What: 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewellery, outerwear and shoes.
What not: these items are not counted as part of the 33 items – wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewellery 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 sight.
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.
While this doesn’t solve the ‘things in boxes you’ve forgotten about’ dilemma, it is a useful way to think about what you wear, and how often. By rotating your wardrobe seasonally, you become more aware of what you are actually wearing and what you’re not.
Or at least that’s what worked for me. I’m going into a third ‘season’ of Project 333 soon and picking out my items and thinking about what works together is a little bit like shopping for new stuff! A little bit…
Looking at the 34 items I picked out for summer- I wasn’t too fussed about the exact number and that didn’t include work wear, shoes and outerwear, I worked out I’d actually regularly worn only 22 items. And, that include 7, yes 7! items I bought new. Including those, and the shoes and jackets I regularly wore it came to…33 items.
Woohoo. And whoa! Because that meant I’d picked out 12 things that I never or almost never wore. This is just embarrassing.
Because good grief I’ve so much stuff.
Those total numbers at the top….Well a new count has come up with a much, much higher number. Not including shoes etc.
I own 5 ‘smart’ jackets. I rarely wear a jacket.
*excuse time*But, they are all lovely, and different, what would look good with these trousers, would look terrible with those.
I own 20 pairs of trousers and leggings.
*but some are winter, some are summer*
27, yes 27!!! Items of nightwear.
*ah, but this is tops and bottoms counted separately, and dressing gowns too, and summer and winter. Besides, as a committed Loafer I stand by the need for much loungewear, so there*
The socks of shame
But by far the biggest embarrassment is the
Pairs of socks and tights.
Yes, that says 51.
Yes, yes again, some seasonal stuff, but I have 5 pairs of knee high socks! And 10 pairs of tights and hold-ups. I never wear tights!! 5 pairs of boot socks!
It goes on and on. Worse still is these have all been worn enough to not be really acceptable for a charity shop- would you pay for worn out socks? – but are not really ‘worn out’.
In theory, I shouldn’t need to buy any more socks, clothes or anything to wear for the next, well, forever probably.
But I’m going to buy more. I know I am. I already have in fact, in the last few days. I’ve filled one, not very big bag for a charity shop, nice stuff they can sell, and a few socks have gone in the bin (I really don’t like the idea of throwing textiles away if they could be recycled).
But it’s just embarrassing.
Ideas like Project 333 are helping me see what I wear regularly and making me stop and think hard when I buy something. I never considered I spend a lot on clothes, I’m happy for a bargain or second-hand, and many of the things I do own I’ve had for years, but it is still far Too Much Stuff.
It’s not good for my wardrobe, or bank account, or the planet or for me.