You may have heard of project 3 33. It’s been developed by Courtney Carver, and in a nutshell, challenges you to choose 33 items of clothing and wear only those for 3 months. There are exceptions, for underwear, sportswear, sleepwear, replacing items that are damaged, and so on, but the 33 items includes footwear and outerwear, plus accessories. There’s a whole lot of information about it online, and in the media, and the point is to take away choice, thus leaving space to focus on what really matters in life. Standing in front of your wardrobe for 10 minutes every morning NOT being that vital, in the grand scheme of things.
If you want to find out more about it, visit the website at https://bemorewithless.com/project-333/, and then you can read through blogs of other people who have done it, and see hints for choosing a capsule wardrobe to meet every occasion for three months, and a whole lot more.
The reason I’m telling you this, is because I took the challenge, early in 2017, and was successful. The first month was hard, but it got easier as I went on – and almost no-one noticed that my wardrobe choices were limited, as I made sure I had varied accessories, and different top and jackets in my 33 items. Interestingly, from those items, there was one I only wore twice, and two I didn’t wear at all, as well as one that broke and was replaced with a new equivalent, so it’s been very revealing, about what I actually need. I’ve always been a bit of a fashion-lover. I have dozens of shoes, which I used to wear every day in London when I lived there, but they’re really not something that I find appropriate for the life I now have in Cornwall. So actually, I had dozens of shoes. I’ve got rid of a lot of them now.
I’m sharing this here because there’s a tie-in between this project and my approach to make up, and hair styling. I hadn’t made the link before, but there’s definitely some similarity here.
Project 3 33 is about less is more, being careful with what you have, using a few things, and using them well, individuality with small touches, not hundreds of wardrobe items that you wear once and then never again.
My makeup and hairstyling has become more like this over the years – using a few key makeup items to create a look that is wearable and highlights your best features, wedding hair that is naturally styled, not held in place with tons of product after hours of curling and tweaking, enhancing what you have, not seeing to change everything.
Project 3 33 has given me the freedom to choose what I wear. Subsequent to the three months, I’ve chucked out of my wardrobe several items which I have been keeping from a kind of guilt – ‘I ought to keep that because…’, or that I think I may wear again one day, but never actually do.
So many people have things in their makeup bags which they are keeping for reasons that don’t make sense. Maybe your best friend told you that’s a great colour on you (though you’re not convinced), you were convinced to buy those eyeshadow shades by a sales person, but you’ve never found the courage to wear them as they’re miles outside your comfort zone, the nail varnish that matches the bridesmaid dress from several years ago…
Having the courage to choose only things which you actually love is part of Project 3 33, ringing the changes with a few good items, worn well. This works with makeup too. Knowing the colours which suit you, how to wear them, and what works on your face.
With hair as well, choosing cuts and colours which work for you, not because your hairstylist has a new palette of colours to play with, or your favourite celebrity has a certain style. Your hair, your life, your style – you get to make it work for you.
So, that was my adventure with Project 3 33. It’s revolutionised how I see my clothes, but chimes nicely with how I’d been coming to view makeup and hair styling over the last several years. Funny how the brain takes a while to get on board sometimes.
If you’d like me to go through your makeup bag, and help you find out what actually works for you, then give me a shout. I promise, it won’t hurt as much as you think it will!