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Life in the closet

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By Fiona Reid

WHEN Green Scene columnist Jane Gray wrote about Project 333 recently I was intrigued. Project 333 is a minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or fewer for three months.

The idea was created by Courtney Carver, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2006 and decided to focus on only the things that were really important.
Although the message behind the project really touches me I just don’t think I can let go of my need for clothes.
My shoes literally sit on pedestals – all my favourite courts, platforms, heeled sandals and even my vintage cowboy boots sit neatly in rows pride of place in my bedroom – much to the temptation of my boyfriend’s shoe consuming dog.
I shun regular ‘closeted’ wardrobes in favour of rails – clothes this pretty don’t deserve to be locked away and hidden from sight but rather sit on show hanging off their velvet hangers.
However in a moment of madness I decided to give Project 333 a go and spent a few hours trying to prize the best and most versatile items from my collection.
But the stress of the task proved too much for me. How could I go all of April, May and June only wearing 33 items?
I have weddings to attend, 21st birthday parties, a hen do in Belfast (three outfits needed at least)and on top of that I have Gala balls and changing weather to deal with.
I have a collection of four pairs of shoes, seven pencil skirts, four dresses, six tops, two long-line blazers, a cardigan and two playsuits that make up my average work wear outfits – that’s already 26 items and I haven’t even left the office!
I’m only 20 so hopefully when I’m older (and wiser) I’ll find it easier to ‘let it go’ and put less pressure on myself to never be spotted twice wearing the same thing. . . until then however I’ll keep admiring my clothes but try to remember the bigger picture in life.

Jane explained how it works . . .
Choose your 33 items, box up the remainder of your wardrobe, seal it with tape and put it out of sight.
What: 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewellery, outerwear and shoes.
What not: These items are not counted as part of the 33 items – wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewellery that you never take off, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear and exercise clothes.
What else: This is all about creating a wardrobe that you can live, work and play in for three months, not a case study in misery. If your clothes don’t suit you, don’t fit suit you or are in poor condition, replace them.
What then: At the end of the 3 months, start again with another – or the same – 33 items for another 3 months. If you’ve learned to unlove anything in your wardrobe in that time, gift it.

Are you up for the Project 333 Challenge if you’ve got what it takes let us know and you could feature on our website.

E-mail myself at [email protected] for more information.

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