Evaluation of my First Project 333 Cycle

My first project 333 cycle is winding down since there are only a few days left in June.  I found that I wore about half of the things I planned to wear, but also added in some items I wasn’t expecting to wear.

I think because of this, for cycle 2, I will go the more spontaneous route.  So for July-August-September, I will make things a part of my 33 as I wear them the first time.

Here are some things I discovered about myself:

1) Having a pre-planned wardrobe doesn’t work for me.  I started off choosing things from the 33 I’d picked, but quickly went back to my usual, “What would be fun to wear today?” attitude.

2) I wore about the same mix of clothes I expected to wear.  I wore a combination of pants, short sleeve dress shirts, tees, a jacket, a longer sleeved shirt or two, and jeans.  I did not have to dress up this cycle so no dresses / skirts.  I also wore very little jewelry.

3)  I’m not really an accessories person.  I always think I’ll wear accessories, but simply forget to use them unless I am dressing up (which is rare).  I think I may be unusual in this compared to many women.  I’m more about variety in make-up and nice smelling bath stuff though.

So what did I wear…31 items, mostly clothing.  Here is my list:

  1. Jeans
  2. Black dress pants
  3. Brown dress pants
  4. Blue corduroy jacket
  5. Purple hoodie
  6. Dark pink tee
  7. Purple tee
  8. Green tee
  9. Black tee
  10. Navy blue tee
  11. Brown tee
  12. Purple button down shirt
  13. Blue button down shirt
  14. Brown and white button down shirt
  15. Black and dark pink button down shirt
  16. Dark purple short sleeved sweater
  17. Teal crocheted 3/4 sleeve sweater
  18. Brown tank
  19. Green elbow sleeve sweater
  20. Navy elbow sleeve sweater
  21. Pink tank
  22. Navy tank
  23. Navy 3/4 sleeve shirt
  24. Brown Dansko clogs
  25. Black Merrill clogs
  26. Casual sport sandals
  27. Brown dress sandals
  28. Black dress sandals
  29. Aquamarine and sterling silver ring
  30. Sterling silver ring with green stone
  31. Blue, green, and purple beaded bracelet

How did anyone else’s first cycle of Project 333 go?


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Six Items or Less Plus Project 333

I’ve mentioned it before, but juggling these two projects simultaneously is hard.  Not that it’s hard to restrict clothing and accessories (after all I am a SIOL veteran), but trying to remember what is allowed when.

Six Items or Less restricts clothing to six pieces for 30days but accessories and shoes are unlimited.

Project 333 restricts clothing, outerwear, footwear, and accessories to 33 items for 3 months.

Neither project restricts underwear, sleepwear, or workout wear.  Uniforms don’t count either, so I don’t have to count my labcoat 🙂

The rules are straightforward.  What’s confusing is the overlap in time.  From Mar 28-31, I was restricted to my 6 SIOL items, but was free to wear whatever shoes and accessories I wanted.  Now I’m restricted to my Project 333 shoes and accessories.  After SIOL is over, my shoes and accessories will still be restricted until July, but I can suddenly wear any other clothes from my Project 333 wardrobe.

I plan to do Project 333 for the rest of my life as long as I feel it works well for me and teaches me to live with a more minimal, but “perfect for me” wardrobe.  However, I’ve also learned that I enjoy these periods of participating in Six Items or Less.  I think from now on, I will lift my ban on shoes and accessories during SIOL cycles simply for more variety.  Once those cycles are over, I will only wear my current 33 items.

After all, the purpose of these projects is not to torture myself with rules, but to make sure that I cut down my clothing, shoe, and accessory consumption to where I am living with less but only the very best for me.  It’s not worth the confusion of trying to keep up with two sets of rules perfectly.

So if I keep doing both projects all the time, clothing, but nothing else will be restricted during Six cycles.  During non-Six times, I will follow Project 333 and restrict all aspects of my wardrobe.  Also, my 6 items will always be chosen from my current Project 333 items.

I think this will help make these things more livable for me.  Sixing is so much more tolerable even with just the option of accessories (although I don’t use them much).  Project 333 will help me in my goal to have 4 minimalist “capsule” wardrobes for each season.

Anyone else who is doing both of these projects feel similarly?  Anyone else adjusting the rules to only have to do one clothing challenge at a time?

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Six Items or Less: From Eh…Whatever to Deeper Thoughts

I’m almost halfway through my second cycle of Six Items or Less and for awhile I was so busy with life that Sixing was almost an afterthought – and a fairly boring experience this time around.

Then I damaged one of my items on Tuesday (day 9) and was forced to wobble on Thurday (day 11).  Wobbling is “cheating” in Six Items or Less language.

I posted about these two incidents here.

When these things happened, they both forced me to stop (or at least slow down) and think  about SIOL and how it affects my life.  At the beginning of this Six cycle and even a week into it, I had a whole “Eh Whatever” attitude.  I am busy at work as I usually am when a semester is close to wrapping up.  I would wake up in the morning, throw on items from my Six, teach, attend meetings, work on projects, come home and collapse into bed only to repeat all of it the next morning.  My Six accompanied me while I taught classes, guest lectured, was video recorded for an evaluation, worked on task forces, met with a group of educators from a college halfway around the world, and other things.  Basically, they were just there, in the background of my busier than usual everyday life.

When my green sweater was damaged, I thought, “Oh no!  Not one of my Six!” followed by, “I’ll just wobble and wear whatever…”.  Except I couldn’t decide which top to wobble with because I was already so used to my Six…so I threw up the purple shirt I had worn on Monday.  I don’t think anyone at work even noticed or cared.  In fact, I got compliments on the color (a spring-y purple).

When I had to add a suit jacket that wasn’t one of my items, I felt guilty and then thought, “I am not going to stress about this.  I was told we had to wear suits at this meeting, so why am I feeling this way?”

After all of this, I feel I am more consciously Sixing again.  I wore the same two shirts to work all week long.  Yesterday, when I wore the blue one for the second time, it felt nice and familiar and “right” somehow.  I decided this morning after getting to sleep until 7:30 (instead of 5am) that I was ok with replacing the green sweater as long as it was with the item I own that is the most similar.  I simply can’t for practical reasons wear the same two shirts to work for the next 2 weeks or I will be doing laundry constantly especially if the weather stays in the 80s.

I’ve decided I like these periods of Sixing in my life.  I didn’t think I was ready for another Six cycle so soon after the last one, but the whole experience of it is simply fun.  It’s fun to discover totally different things each time.  It’s also nice to only have to keep up with 6 clothing items for awhile.  I don’t think I could do SIOL year-round, but I can happily intersperse Six cycles into periods of less restricted dressing?

How is anyone else feeling about the challenges and benefits of wardrobe and clothing challenges?

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Reflections: First Week of Six Items or Less: Cycle 3

Well, I’ve gotten through the first 5 days of Six Items or Less Cycle 3 and Project 333’s third cycle also began yesterday.

It’s been difficult already to do both projects.

First of all, my SIOL wardrobe was selected with warmer weather in mind.  After a snowy early winter, warm spring weather came quickly to my area and we were having temps in the 60s, 70s, and even 80s.  Because of this, I chose short sleeved tops for the late March – late April Six Items or Less cycle.  When Six Items or Less began on March 28, the temps decided to drop into the 50s and they have stayed there throughout the week.  So I have had a chilly first 5 days of this SIOL cycle.  I “cheated” once by wearing a jacket inside.  Most days I just came home from work, changed into PJs, and wrapped up in a blanket.  Today is supposed to warm back up to 70ish, so maybe things will improve here.

On to Project 333 which started yesterday.  I thought I wouldn’t really have to worry about cheating on Project 333 since I was already doing Six Items or Less and my 6 were part of my 33 (All these numbers, can you see why I’m confused).  However, yesterday evening before I went out, I realized this meant I was limited to 4 pairs of shoes, 4 accessories, 1 coat, and 1 jacket (if it’s considered “outerwear” by SIOL).  In SIOL, these things would be unlimited.  I actually had to think about what I was allowed to wear since the two projects are now overlapping until the 26th of April.

Confession:  I am not naturally someone who likes to plan this much.  I am doing Project 333 because I wanted a fun new clothing project and I am back at SIOL because I wanted to do a clothing project with my Sixer friends again.

But I’m committed now to both projects and I really do think I’ll enjoy both of them.  I think the frustration of standing in my house last night trying to figure out what I was “allowed” to wear will probably end up being part of the fun / experimentation of both of these things.

Today will be a tee shirt and jeans day (Saturday) and it’s warm and sunny outside.  Between these two things, I am already happier.

Is anyone else who is doing both Projects also feeling confused / overwhelmed at times?

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First Benefit of Project 333

And I haven’t even started yet!

Project 333 makes you consider what clothes, shoes, and accessories you want to live with for the next 3 months.  As a chose my items for this next phase (Apr 1- Jun 30), I also was able to box up some things for donation that had previously been difficult to get rid of.

You see, these were items that I liked enough to keep.

However, Project 333 made me think – “Do I love these things enough to choose them as part of a future 33 item capsule?”

I realized I did not.  I would always choose similar, but more loved, items over these things every time.  So it was quite easy to place these things in a box to be donated.

Now I’m looking forward to learning what else Project 333 will teach me once I finally start!

What have previous and current clothing challenges taught you?

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My Project 333 Minimalist Wardrobe

I am looking forward to participating in Phase 3 of Project 333 starting on April 1.  For the first month or so, I will also be participating in Six Items or Less.  This means I will be limited to six of my clothing items along with my shoes, accessories, and outerwear I chose for Project 333.

Warning, this post contains lots of pictures.  But for anyone who is here to see my Project 333 wardrobe, you can see the entire thing in this post.

Preparing for Project 333 taught me a lot about my clothing priorities.

  1. I am mostly casual except for when work forces me to dress professionally.  I absolutely love my job though, so this is a minor sacrifice.  Even my work items are more casual professional items – suits and heels are not for me!
  2. I need a good mix of neutrals and colors.  For me an all black wardrobe or an all neutral wardrobe is simply boring.  For someone who isn’t extremely into clothing ans fashion, I still want what I do own to have some variety and fun to it.
  3. I am willing to sacrifice my numbers of bottoms, shoes, and jewelry to have more variety in tops.  If I have a limited amount of tops, I feel like I’m wearing the same things over and over.  I don’t feel this way when I’m limited in other areas of my wardrobe.

So here are my pictures of my Project 333 April – June wardrobe.  If it helps, I am a mid-thirties professional woman living in the southeast US (mostly warm weather this time of year).

So these are my clothing items for the next 3 months.  I absolutely love all of them.  I can combine many of them together since they mostly all complement each other.  I think I’ve covered weather options from cool (3/4 sleeve shirt, elbow length sweaters) to hot (capri pants and sandals) to rainy (trench and clogs).  I’ve also covered occasions from work to days off to even a dress for times I have to dress up.

I’m hoping this works.  My biggest concern is that I will crave newness halfway through this project  and be tempted to not stick to my 33.  Anyone else apprehensive about choosing all your clothes 3 months in advance?

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Getting Ready for Six Items or Less

I’ve had a lot of mixed feelings about six items or less this cycle.

I want to do it again so I can reconnect more easily with other sixers.

I don’t want to do it because I was excited about Project 333 and not yet ready for the super-restrictiveness of SIOL.

I want to do it because I got so much out of it the last time.

I don’t want to do it because I have no idea how to plan for all the possible temperatures and weather of late March – late April.

Don’t worry everyone, I plan to do it again.

However, I needed to prepare and needed time to get myself more in the mood.  First I selected my clothes for Project 333 (I’ll try to have a post on this soon).  I made sure to choose multiple pairs of shoes and multiple jewelry items so I would have more variety for SIOL.

Then I tried to select 6 of these items for SIOL.  It was very easy to decide on bottoms.  I have pretty much learned that I could live in jeans and black pants for the rest of my life and I wouldn’t miss other bottoms.  Nor would anyone be likely to notice that those were my only two bottoms.  With those two choices you get a casual choice and a dressy choice.  Perfect for 99% of occasions.

Tops were harder.

First of all, I layer.  Button down shirt over tank.  Sweater over shirt.  Jacket over shirt or tank.  You get the idea.  Second, a lot of my short sleeve shirts are either tees (too casual for work) or patterned dressy shirts (too dressy for the evening / weekends).  I found myself wishing I had solid short-sleeved dress shirts for this round of SIOL.

So I went shopping.  I’m trying to decide if I feel guilty shopping for SIOL.  Last time I was totally against it (for me) because I had sufficient choices in my closet.  However, I’ve gotten rid of lots of clothes since SIOL.  I decided that my overall goal was to minimize the amount of clothes in my wardrobe, but love (and wear) everything I own.  Shopping fit with this overall goal.  So I bought two solid color professional looking button down shirts.  They can be casual when worn with jeans.  I told myself again not to feel bad because I’ve gotten rid of a lot of professional shirts that I really didn’t like, but only wore because they were in my closet.

So I have 5 items definitely picked out.

  1. Black cotton pants
  2. Dark blue jeans
  3. Solid teal-colored button down short sleeved shirt
  4. Solid color medium-purple button down short sleeved shirt
  5. Black v-neck tee (my casual weekend shirt)
  6. ? shirt

I have a potential last item (shirt) chosen, but I have the day off tomorrow, so I may go browse a few stores to see if I can find another solid colored work appropriate, but not too dressy shirt.

Here are my first 5 items:

Anyone else ready for SIOL round 3?  Do you have your items chosen yet?

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