I’ve gotten to the point where I honestly don’t remember having more than 33 items of clothing. My wardrobe seems robust. My look(s) seem fresh. I have dressed appropriately for all occasions including the obligatory family holidays. Perhaps the thing that has recently been on my mind is the emphasis on numbers.

One of the reasons I started the project was to do just what was outlined in the rules.

What: 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes.

Back in the fall (I am a veteran of both phases) I meticulously chose my 33 items keeping in mind which tshirts could double as undershirts and outer tees, which jeans made me feel good as well as look good, what shoes would be worn and which were “just because,” and if there were any coats I would definitely need as the winter came about. I was sure to stick to just 33 items.

As the days grew considerably shorter and the sky more dreary I daily chose from fewer items of clothing opting instead for warm, comfy clothing over stylish, more colorful pieces. By Christmas I even had doubts I would continue with the project. It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be and 33 seemed to be a rather random number. I could easily do 25 or even 20! And that is when it hit me. Project 333 wasn’t about 33 items at all. The number was a random assignment that allowed for numeric alliteration as well as a realistic goal to strive for.

Depending on your own consumer habits, your own take on fashion -vs- function, and your own personal style, 33 could just as easily be 50 in that it would free you from being a slave to Glamour or GQ as well as your own closet. One belt. Ten belts. It didn’t matter afterall. What mattered is that I had begun to realize I didn’t need a belt to match every pair of shoes and I didn’t need to keep one just in case the other wore out or buy two instead of one because that was the special at the store. I was learning in those first 3 months to take control over my own wardrobe.

Confession Time: I am a telecommuter. I work from home in regards to my “day job.” The other portion of my time is spent outdoors on a small farm where few say anything about my outward appearance. Because of this I have had much more room to minimize and rid myself and my closet of what now seem like sewn together shackles. For me Project 333 is not a decluttering exercise. It is not a minimalism mission. It is a focused amount of time in which I have been encouraged to examine my clothes and my possessions from a host of perspectives; do I need it or just want it? Will it make me look good or will I look like I don’t care about myself. Is this work acceptable as well as perfect for a night out or a church morning? Does this item really get worn to only one venue? Why do I still own those shoes?

I am so thankful that I chose to join the project. I honestly don’t know if I am above or below the targeted 33 items. I know that I wear all of my clothes. I know that I like all of my clothes. I know that I managed to keep the pair of jeans my wife likes me most in. And I know that 50 items or 5, I am happy every day I stand in front of my closet to grab a shirt that will inevitably match whatever I already have on!