The 333 Project 3 Years Later
by Ari Takata-Vasquez
As the New Year rolls around so do the resolutions. One of the most common resolution is having less 'stuff'. One of the best ways to eliminate clutter is by cleaning out your wardrobe. As some of you know, I did the 333 project a while back and swear by it. In short the 333 project is a way of developing a capsule collection; you wear 33 items (yes, including shoes and accessories, too) for 3 months so you create a hyper-curated seasonal wardrobe. It changed the way I think about clothing and is why Viscera only carries neutrals. Here I am 3 years later and I'm never going back to color. Now that I have a clothing boutique, I definitely have more than 33 items in my closet but there are some simple principles I learned from the 333 project that I still live by:
It needs to fit-- and well.
Another common resolution is to lose weight and with it comes the "fat wardrobe" and the "skinny jeans". By that, I mean that we keep items that are too big just in case we gain the weight back and we also hold on to that pair of jeans that are a size or two too small in hopes of fitting them if we just cut out the Ben & Jerry's.
The problem with both of these things is it wastes space, both physically and mentally. Having that 'just-in-case' wardrobe is excessive. If you've decided you're done with your weight yo-yoing, just get rid of it. You don't need it! It's a similar issue with the 'skinny jeans', every day you look at those items that are too small you cause yourself mental stress. It can send you from "I'm looking good these days" to "why can't I just lose those last 5 pounds". You don't need that kind of negativity in your life so just let them go. Only keep the things that fit you well and you feel confident in. The rest of it can get donated.
Find your palette and stick to it.
Find the colors that work with your skin tone and ignore the rest. I love the color camel but it looks awful on me. Somehow it manages to clash with both my skin tone and hair. In the words of Regina George, "it's not going to happen." It's all about finding what works for you. My closet is filled with pretty much every shade of grey (forgive the pun), I have a lot of black, and a little bit of cream/white. If you've come into the shop you've probably seen that I almost always have a cup of coffee with me and I'm really bad at not spilling it. If I'm wearing white it's like a magnet for my coffee so I try to limit how much white I have. Find what works for you and your lifestyle and stick with it.
It looks like you try, even if you don't.
I usually take about 15-20 minutes getting ready in the morning because I don't really have to think about much. Given that I don't spend a lot of time on my look, I'm surprised when people compliment my outfit. Usually, it's pretty quietly mentioned, something like "..oh, but you're always dressed well". A big part of looking "professional" is consistency. If you take the time to curate your wardrobe you don't need to put so much thought into the day-to-day act of getting ready and you'll always look put together.
Minimalism will become your way of life.
After you get used to dressing minimally, it'll come naturally to other parts of your life. Once your closet is clean and organized, it only makes sense to do the same for the rest of the "stuff". I find that almost everything I buy now is in greyscale and it really helps all the parts of my life to come together aesthetically. It creates a sort of calm in my environment and helps me to focus. One day I hope to get to the level of curation that love-aesthetics' Ivania Carpio has, but until then I'll work on minimizing.
What's holding you back from doing the 333 project?
Happy New Year!