Friday, 3 October 2014

Project 333

I was going to try Project 333 for the next three months. The idea is that you pick 33 items to wear for 3 months, no more, no less. That has to include jewellery, outerwear and shoes, but doesn't include underwear, work out wear or sentimental jewellery that you never take off (like a wedding ring, or in my case 2 treasured rings and a bracelet plus all the studs in my multiple piercings).

I dutifully wrote a list of everything in my wardrobe that I still wear regularly (making a note to remove the items not on the list), then tried to whittle it down. My original list came to 41 different pieces (I didn't count duplicates of the same colour). Should be simple right?

I was reminded pretty quickly that it is not in my nature to be that minimal. Sure, I don't like too much clutter (who knew that this day would come?) and my colour palette ranges from black to white with a hint of grey in the middle, but try and get me to not wear more than 33 items for 3 months? Sorry, no can do.

An online conversation I have been reading raised a valid point today - why is the conversation about clothing amounts so polarised? Why do we only really see the extremes - the women with huge wardrobes with a vast array of garments, or the women with the tiniest ones, with enough clothes to last them a mere 5 days without having to do some laundry?

My suspicion is that anything in the middle is just too boring. It is average. Most women aren't at either extreme, we all fall somewhere in between. Like some women have huge shoe collections, where others (like me) have tiny ones. I've got quite a lot of jewellery (even if I don't wear it that much these days) because jewellery doesn't rely on bits of me meeting some arbitrary average that a designer has picked - pierced ears are pretty much pierced ears. Other women will baulk at any jewellery that is more than a simple pair of studs, a wedding ring and maybe a slender necklace.

But average is boring so we worship the extreme. We envy the minimal bloggers because their wardrobes make their lives look so easy. I'm not sure how easy it is to only have 33 items to choose from - I'd be in a flap over the amount of laundry required just to keep it all looking and smelling fresh - but judging by the amount of blogs about minimalism there are obviously women who lap up this stuff. I wonder if they are actually read by women who have endless amounts of clothes, in a bid to figure out how to organise themselves and their wardrobes.

My brief experience in trying to do the 33 for 3 thing has shown me that I simply have no need for that kind of stress in my life, and I'm perfectly happy the way I am.

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