14 October 2011

Minimizing the Year-Round Wardrobe

And why take ye thought for raiment?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field,
which today is, and to morrow is cast into the oven,
shall he not much more clothe you.....?
Matthew 6:28-30

Back in early spring, while looking on-line for inspiration

(and motivation) to do more purging and de-cluttering 

in order to fit the stuff we use in our every-day lives into a fifth-wheel,
I ran across Project 333 and decided to try it.

The challenge of the project is to limit the clothing in your closet to 
33 items which are to be worn for 3 months.
After 3 months, you can choose another 33 items, 
which allows for change of seasons, etc.
The purpose of the challenge is to simplify one's life,
by determining what one truly needs,
and give one pause to reconsider spending habits.
(For details on "rules" of the challenge, see link above.)

Now, I'm not really keen on displaying 
all the innards and unmentionables of our closet.....
but as I am grateful for those who have shared 
their photos and challenges of their journey.....
(and because a few of you have asked.....)
here's my contribution in hopes of encouraging others considering a similar path.

Here is our closet when I was just starting Project 333.....

.....and here is the stuff I had just pulled out of the closet, 
hence the bare space in the photo above.

(Please forgive the poor quality cell-phone photos--

my camera had an accident.)

I tried every single item on and got rid of everything
that did not fit or did not make me feel good 
about how I looked while wearing it.

I also put much thought into what pieces I really needed,
and how to mix and match those remaining things to prevent boredom.
(Turns out the boredom is MY problem.....
nobody else really cares what I wear!)

Here is the same closet after purging it 
for spring/summer Project 333.
(The top half is mine, bottom half the Man's.)

The pared-down wardrobe worked very well for me,
but I was quite intrigued that I still didn't wear every item 
in the 3+ months of the challenge.

As you can see, when I put my 33 choices back into the closet,
I put all the hangers in backwards.
Three months later, it was very easy to see what had been worn
and what had not by looking at which way the hangers were left hanging on the pole.

After noting how many clothes I still was not wearing,
and then reading about

36/365: A New Fashion Project inspired by Project 333

and decided I was up to taking on a new challenge.

When the heat of summer finally broke, 
and I was inspired to open up the stored winter clothing,
it didn't take me very long to pull out my favorites 
and fill all 36 hangers.

So, (because you asked,) here is my "Wardrobe of 36"...my choices at present.

Far left (above, partly hidden) are  "dress" clothes & winter wraps.
3 Drawers=unmentionables, jammies, workout wear, xtra sheets, etc 
Everyday wear (hanging)
Shoes (some in boxes, some on floor)
(Black travel bag on shelf is for personal toiletries)
(#36=)Black bag on top of shoe boxes is backpack/purse.

Everyday & casual:
1= Denim jacket/blazer
2= prairie skirt
3= prairie skirt
4= drab green skirt
5=denim skirt, A-line
6=denim skirt, straight
7=denim skirt linen khaki skirt, not pictured
8=white short sleeve t
9=gray short sleeve t
10=black short sleeve t
11=brown peasant blouse
12=blue button-down shirt
13=red 3/4 sleeve t
14=brown long sleeve t
15=black long sleeve t
16=plum long sleeve t
17=green long sleeve t
18=red 3/4 sleeve t

19=Brown Cowboy boots
20=Black boots
21=Black flats
22=Blue teva sandals
23=Black sporty Mary Janes
24=Brown Mary Jane slide-ons

The only things that "count" for this challenge
in the 3 drawers shown above 
are the scarves, bottom right.
And at present, I'm not counting them.
I wear them so rarely.....I'm waiting to see what or if I actually use them.
(I also have a black and a brown belt that are rarely worn...
I'm not counting, yet waiting on those as well.)

Winter Warmers on left:
25=Down Coat (which will be replaced with a black knee length one 
when I find it.....it is "lost" in the moving process at present.)
26=Green wool cardifan
27=Snowflake wool sweater
28=Blue wool cardigan

Dress clothes (for church, weddings, funerals)
29=teal sweater
30=red sweater
31=black cami
32=black cardigan sweater
33=black skirt
34=black ballerina dress
35=denim dress
(#36=)black bag, listed above

In top-of-closet storage are 3 hats:
gardening hat
cowgirl hat
straw bonnet
I rarely wear any of these, excepting the gardening hat,
but am keeping them around just the same, for that occasional event,
or until I'm ready to pass them on.

<pic or remains to store>

And here's the remains that will go to temporary storage.

I hope to be able to let all of it go within the next few months.

So these are my choices for now.
If something isn't working, I will trade it out for something that does.
My goal is to permanently downsize my wardrobe to (around) 36 items, 
to cover four distinct seasons.

I am challenging myself to choose contentment and humility,
instead of always acquiring more out of boredom or prideful vanity.

I truly do love having an abundance of space
rather than an over-abundance of things.

Here are some of my personal parameters that have helped me make my wardrobe choices:
(My clothing choices are personal and reflect my way of living. 
Your choices will doubtlessly be different, and I'm perfectly ok with that!)

~~I 'm definately  NOT  a fashionista,
nor am I afraid of the fashion police. 
I don't follow fashion fads, but rather, 
I base my choices on  principle and personal taste.
~~I live a home-based, agrarian life. 
(That means I work in the dirt and with animals a lot.)
~~I am a wife and mother who works at home
by keeping our home, home-educating our child, caring for elders,
and many other miscellaneous titles/roles.
~~I love wearing skirts and dresses and I love dressing modestly.
~~I don't wear jewelery...which greatly simplifies my life and gives me more clothing choices!



  1. My goodness! Coats count, too? Mmmm. As far as my closet goes, if I'm not wearing something, I bring it to the thrift store - I don't like to accumulate things. And, I know I don't have tons of clothes like some women I know. But, I have no idea how many items I have! I'll have to look. You've got me thinking.

  2. Lisa--don't let my "quest" for more simplicity and order put you on a guilt trip or anything! I have hoarding tendencies due to my upbringing (depression-era parents) and life circumstances, and I am simply going through these exercises as a way to increase my awareness of what I truly need, and to enable me to let go of the excess.
    Picking a number is part of the exercise, but not the main point!

    If your wardrobe meets your needs and isn't overflowing your closet or creating chaos or other difficulties in your life--I say let it be!!! It sounds as if you are aware of what you need/use and what you don't, and you purge regularly, and I think that is a wonderful balance--I applaud you!

    Thanks for stopping by!