How Project 333 has made me comfortable in my own skin.

It has been almost two months since I started Project 333, which means I have one month left! When I first started this project, I thought it would be impossible to stick to only wearing 33 items, but it has actually gone by fast. The biggest positive to this project has been how much I have learned about myself and my attitude (along with society’s attitude) towards clothing. 

I had to cheat a bit. I chose my 33 items based on Seattle’s generally moderate climate, but I forgot that it does get hot enough for shorts in the summer, and I also went on some trips I wasn't planning for at the time. I ended up pulling two pairs of shorts out and a pair of flip-flops and sneakers; however, it worked out well as I was able to put away two pairs of pants and a pair of boots I haven't needed during these hot months. I have switched a few items around, but I think I still only have 33 items in my wardrobe. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

1. I still don’t wear half of my 33 items. I pretty much rotate around the same few items.

2. I don’t miss my old clothes AT ALL. One day when I went to cheat, I put on an outfit that wasn't a part of my 33 items, looked in the mirror and thought, meh, I like my 33 items better. I changed my outfit back into something apart of Project 333 and packed the old outfit back away.

3. My self-esteem has gone up for a few reasons:

- I have curated my closet so much that now whenever I get dressed, I am putting on an outfit I absolutely love and feel great about myself in. I no longer feel obligated to wear something I only sort of like or feel good in. My next step is to donate a ton of stuff (or have a come-raid-my-closet-sale here in Seattle).

- I was holding onto a lot of items out of guilt. One day I’ll fit this again, or, this shirt isn’t my style anymore but it’s so nice, and maybe one day I will feel like this person again. Turns out I’ve grown out of that person, completely. By curating my closet down to only 33 items, I feel like I’ve freed myself from a lot of expectations and false identities I put on myself. I feel much more comfortable in my skin and how my body looks, and I also feel like I know who I am, and what makes me me. I don’t have to change who I am and how I feel to pull off a certain outfit. Instead, all of my outfits represent who I am and how I feel, allowing me to continue being me. 

4. Trends matter less to me. By owning fewer items, it has forced me to be okay with what I wear, despite trends. I may not have all the newest trends anymore, but suddenly I don’t need those trends to feel good about myself. I think a lot of my identity came from staying up to date with the current trends, even if I didn’t like the current trend. Now, I feel like how I dress is so much more of a personal expression as to who I am, as opposed to looking cool. I wear what I feel. I don’t wear what society tries to make me feel. When I see other people wearing a really cool trend, I think, that looks great, but it won’t change who I am, and I’m happy with who I am.

5. I have so much more time! Seriously, so much more time. I didn’t realize how much time I spent getting dressed each morning, but when you have fewer options, getting dressed is much easier. You have no choice but to just put something on, even if it doesn’t seem like what you want to wear that day. That being said, because my 33 items have been so curated, once I put on an outfit, I remember how much I love it and I feel great in it anyway.

6. I kind of like having a uniform... And while I still have lots of variety in my wardrobe, I like that I have my “thing.” This is what I wear, over and over and over again, because this is what I like and this is who I am. The end.

7. It’s made me realize what I actually need, as opposed to what I want. For example, I chose three cardigans that are all the same style except for the print. I only wear one of them (because the others don’t match with anything). Instead, I could get rid of the extra two cardigans and buy a neutral sweater that I could wear with literally everything in my closet, allowing my outfits to go way further. 

8. Basic is best. I’ve always been into colorful clothes and have avoided wearing black as much as I can, but having a basic black dress has changed my life (seriously). I can wear this dress to any outing and always feel great in it. This dress looks amazing with a pair of sneakers, or I can dress it up. No matter how I wear it, I always feel good in it because it’s so classic. It feels timeless, which I’m into more than trends. 

9. Lastly, I don’t feel like I’m trying. So often I’d go to some event and I felt like I had to try so hard to dress right and fit into whatever scene it was. Now, I just wear what I feel like wearing, and what represents me. 

Overall, this project has allowed me to feel comfortable in my own skin and be free to be me.