Project 333 update: moving, travelling, and southern hemisphere edition

by Anna Blanch on March 29, 2012

Shipping most of my belongings from Scotland to Australia gave me the perfect opportunity [read also: necessitated] to review where project 333 was up to. If you don’t know what I’m gibbering on about – re: Project 333 or you’d like to follow my journey so far, here’s part 1 and part 2 and part 3. Basically, it’s about pairing down your closet (or wardrobe) to 33 items of clothing (outer clothing), shoes, and jewellery and accessories.  It’s about thinking about living with less, but making sure what you’re living with is actually doing the job well for the stage of life you’re in. I’m writing a lot, I’m job interviewing, I’m conference speaking, and i’m exercising and travelling. These parameters should be guiding what I have in my wardrobe. That and dressing for my shape, not necessarily trends. I’ve written about dressing to profess (as a scholar or a teacher) before and it’s something that i think is part of thinking through approaching your work professionally, however you look at it!

Overall the project (and moving) challenged me a great deal. I gave away three bags of clothes from what was and is quite a modest wardrobe (i think).

* I had to pack for a southern hemisphere autumn but live with those clothes for my last two weeks in St Andrews (winter) and possibly again for three weeks in the St Andrews/US summer in May/June. It was a packing feat! In some ways having the bounds of project 333 helped me with the packing and planning processes, but I didn’t let myself be bound by them strictly because of the imposition of changes in seasons.

*I’ve actually not got a traditional two piece suit in my wardrobe that fits perfectly at the moment. This is a problem with conferences coming up and (hopefully) job interviews. I’m going to get around this with some clever use of dresses and skirt/blouse combinations.

*If you do follow project 333 strictly you will more than likely be able to fit your entire wardrobe into one suitcase (23kg/50lbs). This is awesome and really decreases the stress of being under that weight limit for airline check-in (one less thing to worry about).

* I love that I don’t count workout (or exercise) clothes in my 33. It gives me the freedom to be creative with those and follow the rules in relation to only wearing them while I exercise. It does motivate me to dress well even then, though, I have to say.

*I reheeled a favourite pair of boots and realised another pair of shoes really needed to be replaced (which hasn’t happened yet). I’ll need to find a perfect work/casually appropriate pair of black flats. St Andrews cobbled streets did the last pair in and not even resoling could save them.

* I realised that I still need to refine things. I still have clothes I don’t love. I’m still not sure if I’m actually wearing what would suit me best in terms of body shape/lifestyle. I’m really hoping to be able to share the advice of someone rather more skilled in that area than I in the near future.

* The project has made me look at clothes and my wardrobe differently. It also gave the freedom to bring in things you absolutely love and which fit with the season/lifestyle. I’m hoping to move more towards seasonal wardrobes again. I didn’t really need my summer wardrobe at all while I was living in Scotland. It was really only autumn, spring and winter. The spring wardrobe was fine through the summer months.

* It’s fun to make a list of those things you really want to add (like the perfect pair of brown frye boots!) or the essentials you know you don’t have once you’ve weeded out what doesn’t fit well, isn’t in good repair or which doesn’t fit your lifestyle or work habits.I even have a pinterest board specifically for thinking about what might work as capsule wardrobe additions!

Okay, so there’s my update.

Are you pursuing a little Project 333 of your own?

I’m going to be joining with the minimalist fashion challenge beginning on April with the More With Less folks. You might want to check it out!


Photo credit: Gillian Gamble

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