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My 333 Challenge experiment

Updated: Jan 16

I don't know if you heard about the 3 33 challenge introducing you to a capsule wardrobe. Now I have downsized my original wardrobe, but I felt like I needed to challenge myself by actually owning a capsule wardrobe without getting rid of my clothes and regretting it a couple of weeks later.

The 3 33 challenge is picking 33 items as your entire wardrobe for three months and going on a no-buy during those three months. What those items include:

1- Accessories

2- Jewellery

3- Outerwear

4- Shoes


What it does not include is:

1- Sentimental jewellery that you wear daily

2- Underwear

3- Sleepwear

4- Loungewear

5- Workout clothes that you wear to work out.


The founder of the challenge stated several times that this challenge is not about the clothes but about knowing and challenging your concept of the impossible.


Today the 1 of Oct 2020, I started this challenge by sorting out my clothes and putting what I will most definitely not wear in boxes and bags. I brought my heavier clothing Items that I had stored away during my last declutter out, now starts the system of choosing the 33 items.


One helpful tip the author gave me is to have outfits put aside to wear for the next two days till I finalise my wardrobe and that there is no perfect way of doing something. So, the first thing that I did, even though outerwear is part of the 33 items, was not to count them since I live in Oman. I might not need to utilise my jackets yet or ever. I want to use this period to monitor which jackets I utilise the most and start decluttering the rest. If you know me, you know how difficult that will be for me as I adore jackets and winter wear in general (ironic, is it not).


I also did not count my swimming wear or the one tracksuit I have, considering I will only wear it in specific situations. I also did not include my special occasion wear for not overly limiting myself with a sleeveless dress I can't wear out or a skirt when I might not have any events in the upcoming months due to the ongoing pandemic.


It took me a week to finalise my wardrobe for the next three months. I have several items that I need to take to the tailor, which I hope I'll do this week; then, I'll reevaluate my closet again, see if I want to replace anything in it.


My colour palette for this season is white, black, grey, dusty rose, olive green and brown.

My 33 wardrobe items consist of

Tops:

1. Black ribbed Everlane shirt

2. White ribbed Everlane shirt

3. White oxford shirt

4. White Everlane collared shirt

5. ……

Today is the 15 of Oct 2020, so I'm halfway through the first month, even though I have found a couple of items I want to purchase. I want to try the brand La Redoute. Now I know in my previous post I preached about sustainable clothing and ethically made clothing, and I believe that the pieces I picked are made in Europe, which has unions and laws preventing the underpaid and child labour. though a recent article proved that it's not always accurate, which is shown in the factories/ sweatshops in Romania (https://cleanclothes.org/news/2019/western-european-brands-are-profiting-from-poverty-wages-in-romania-europes-biggest-fashion-manufacturer)

Now I want to purchase pieces I have been looking for and critical pieces I believe I need in my closet. For example, a striped shirt (Breton), formal pants in the colour navy, black, and camel beige, as well as ribbed shirts to fit the aesthetic that I'm aiming for; even though I bought two for Everlane, they were a bit on the thin side they will suit the summer months or as an undershirt for my t-shirts. I also need to get new undergarments that fit the aesthetic and the comfort level I need as the ones I have are looking more worn out, or they do not fit my needs anymore.

I had to remind myself that I was on a no-buy for three months. But what I'll do is if I have any excess cash by the end of the month, I'll order the new clothes, and I'll go through my clothes again and choose my 33 items.

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Dear reader, please note that today is the 5 of Apr 2021. Project 333 did not work as I hoped it would. When I started 333, I hoped to try a reasonable period of no buy for three months; however, I had already made a list of the skincare, and the things I wanted to purchase on the black-Friday sale did not count in my no-buy, which I won't deviate from. Now my primary headache was choosing outfits and making sure to document them. Other than the four items above, I forgot to do that. However, after three months, excluding the No Buy Black Friday list. I went on a shopping spree. As shown below

Please consider that we only started April this week for the past two months. I have been shopping, and I have given up on Everlane because I noticed that the quality resembled that of Zara and Mango, and I still am not confident in my style to purchase the more expensive ones. So, I fell off my high horse and purchased the bulk of my new wardrobe from Mango, Asos and some from Zara and Stradivarius. I'm still waiting on my two orders from Asos. So, did the no-buy curb my shopping spree? It did not; unfortunately, it made it worse, I believe. Or at least it's been worse for the past couple of months.


Now I do not, in any way, shape or form, blame 333 Challenge or say it's a bad idea; the thought behind it is solid. And it's an experience thousands of people swear by. I believe the issue was that I'm at a junction in my life where I prefer nudes, beiges, whites, and cool earth tone colours to black and the occasional pop of colour that used to be my wardrobe. I love T-shirts even though I don't get to wear them much as a covered Muslim woman. I believe I will try it again in the future when I'm planning a trip and such.


Now I kept the original post paragraphs from OCT 2020 above to show you that I was keen on the experiment and enjoyed it while it lasted. Still, the downfall is that I didn't have what I needed at the time, so it ended up with my new reduced wardrobe doubling in size. I had nowhere to put my clothes (I swapped closets with my sister since I didn't need them then). Still, on the upside, I learned that this experience is that even with the splurging, I did not purchase anything I did not believe I needed or I had already in my closet.


To negate the harmful effects of my experiment, I started a wardrobe Journal where I'll write down everything I own in categories and maybe add a tracker as well to monitor what I wear the most and, based on that, build my perfect wardrobe.


Maybe in another post, I'll keep you posted on the Wardrobe journal journey.


I hope you enjoyed the Read.


Have a great day


Noor Al Suri

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