No New Clothes and Project 333

A little over a year ago I embarked on the No New Clothes Challenge, and at the time I was fairly confident I could do this. I would buy no new clothes for a year.

I’d also joined the Project 333, meaning I’d basically pare down my wardrobe to 33 pieces of clothing – not including underwear, nightwear, sportswear and outerwear.

The year is over, and it’s time to see what happened to these challenges. Did I make it? And how hard was it?

And the answer is: Yes, I made it and it was actually far easier than I expected.

As for the new clothes: I simply didn’t need to buy them. I had enough good clothes to last me for even longer than a year. And although I’d given myself a pass for underwear, I didn’t use it as I didn’t need to buy any. It was in perfectly good condition and still is. I figure I could go another year without buying new clothes – and still not need to buy new undies either.

I did, however, buy secondhand clothes to replace most of my clothes, because I decided a change of style was called for. I do not regret my choice to get myself a complete makeover. It was one of the best things I did in years. And I didn’t break my promise not to buy any new clothes.

So I can honestly say the No New Clothes Challenge has been a great success.

But what happened to the Project 333?

During the last year I discovered it’s quite liberating to live with a limited wardrobe. You don’t have to deal with a cluttered, overfull wardrobe, and what’s more, chosing which clothes to wear has become ever so easy.

Changing out your selection of clothes once every four months, though, is a little cumbersome and I don’t intend to go on doing that. In fact, when the new season started back in January, I decided to not change a thing about my wardrobe. It was fine the way it was, so no need to go through my things.

Of course it does help that I’ve only got one smallish storage box with warm-weather clothes, and why would I want to wear warm-weather clothing during the winter anyway?

My favourite clothes by far are a pair of jeans, a grey t-shirt, checkered flannel shirt and my green cardigan.

I wear these most of the time.

Clothes I’ve hardly worn at all, and might be good candidates for donation, are two jackets, my long green coat (but we’ve hardly had a winter to speak of, so I’d do well to hold on to this coat for at least another year), and the green waistcoat. I do like these clothes, but they’re just not really comfortable, so I’m not sure I should hang on to them. Time will tell.

Then there’s this gorgeous t-shirt, which was one of my favourites, until I ruined it by accidentally spilling some oil on it. I haven’t been able to get it out, so I’m not sure what to do with it now. I really loved that t-shirt, and am secretly hoping I can find a way to get rid of that ugly oil spot, but if not…

Hmmm, I might still be able to wear it as a pyjamas top, I guess.

So that’s what happened to the Project 333 and No New Clothes challenges. I think I did quite well on both of them.

Now one big question remains: What shall I do now?

I could decide to go on a shopping spree and buy all new clothes. I could decide to fill up my wardrobe with all the clothes I can afford to buy, but you guessed it: I’m not going to do that. Living with less clothes has been such a blessing to me, that I don’t want to go back to owning many clothes. And also, seeing that I’ve been able to build a complete “new” wardrobe with only secondhand clothes, I don’t really want to go back to buying new. I might, if the need arises, but I’m not so sure yet. Why spend a lot of money on new clothes, when I can get them much cheaper – or even for free – secondhand?

I don’t feel I suffered or missed out on anything. I had all that I needed and more.

No, instead of going back to “before”, I think I’ll even take it one step further: I am going to try and limit my wardrobe – my complete wardrobe, summer and winter – to just 33 pieces of clothing.

Now there’s a challenge!


About Liam

Poet, writer, aspiring minimalist
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