Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Why do we go clothes shopping?

This may seem an obvious question.  We go clothes shopping because we need to, don't we? We have a wedding to go to, or we are starting a new job, or it's the sales and we just love a bargain! The sales have just started here in Spain and I admit that it's tempting. The shop windows are offering discounts of up to 50%, so how can I say no? I'm pleased to say that when I went to my niece's wedding in the UK last month, I wasn't tempted to buy a new outfit. I wore a dress that I bought last year with a jacket and shoes that I have had for over four years and I still felt good in my outfit. However I do enjoy finding a new top or dress that suits me and doesn't cost a fortune, so it's hard to resist the lure of the sales.  Why not take a peek inside my wardrobe of summer clothes and then answer this question for me: do I need any new clothes?

This doesn't show all my summer clothes by the way as some of them are in the laundry basket, plus I'm wearing a red top and blue linen trousers. Also missing are my summer dresses and jackets, which are hanging up in the wardrobe in the spare room along with my winter clothes. In the photo you can see a navy skirt, some patterned skirts, a couple of pairs of trousers, a selection of tops in a variety of colours and two cardigans. I have a total of 33 items of clothing to cover the summer months: to see the whole selection, and to read about Project 333, click on this link. I am sure you will agree that I've more than enough clothes without buying new ones, so why am I being tempted? Why do so many of us buy clothes that we really don't need? For many of us, it has become a habit.

One of my reasons for joining Project 333 was to try and curb my shopping habit. Not that you are banned from buying new clothes if you take part in the project, but once you have chosen your 33 items of clothing, the idea is that you can replace older clothes with new items so long as you don't add to the overall number. "One in, one out" is the rule.

There is lots of helpful advice on the Project 333 website: http://theproject333.com/getting-started/. If you look at this, you will see that ideally you should include accessories, jewellery and shoes. I have to admit that this would be a step too far for me, so my 33 only includes items of clothing. Having said that, this is a vast improvement on the huge number of clothes crammed into my wardrobe and drawers before I started Project 333.

Here is another excellent website, which is very helpful for those of us doing Project 333 and trying to avoid the temptation of buying new clothes, and especially if you fancy the challenge of a year without clothes shopping: http://www.shopyourwardrobe.com/ You can sign up for free to receive "The 12 Secrets to Less Shopping". If, like me, you want to become a more conscious clothes shopper, it will help you to be more aware of your reasons for going clothes shopping. It also encourages you to look at your existing wardrobe first. I'm not sure if I could manage a whole year without buying new clothes, but I am hoping that it inspires me to buy less.


  1. Wow, I think I would be freakin' out if I only had 33 items, although after my cousin's fire, his sister noted how nice it would be to live with only 4 pairs of pants and four shirts. I find I'm not that big of a shopper, but I'm also not that big on getting rid of things. However, I've just lost 20 pounds, so I may be getting rid of a lot after all. I like the idea of the 333 project. I will have to check it out.

  2. 33 pieces of clothing? I can live with that! I'm a jeans and shirt type of girl.

    I must admit though that I have a lot of clothes that I haven't worn for a while!

  3. It's interesting to get two different perspectives here.

    Jamie, it's 33 items for one season, though some of my clothes have appeared in more than one season. That does mean that in theory you could have 132 items for the whole year! Well done on losing 20 pounds - it's an ideal opportunity to make sure that you have a wardrobe that you love and that really works for you.

    Nica, I'm with you in loving jeans and shirts, though in summer I need to wear lighter trousers. If you have a lot of clothes that you haven't worn for a while - maybe you need to take a look at Project 333 for ideas on having a wardrobe that you actually use?

  4. I've been in the 333 Project for almost a year. The benefit for me is that the only items I own All look good on me. Getting dressed is faster. I don't try on multiple things to see what looks best that day and no longer try to make something 'work' simply because it is in my closet.

    My 'style' is more defined. I had to do some soul searching to make sure I knew what I loved most to wear but it worked. Now, when I shop, I am clearer about what I want to purchase.

    I did not pare down on my jewelry (Legos for Girls). I love all of the pieces and have spent a long time collecting them. If anything, my apparel is a backdrop for my jewelry.

    My better pieces were donated to Dress for Success and (hopefully) are now being worn by women who need clothes to enter the workplace. That type of donation made me feel as though my clothes had a good home where they'd be appreciated.

    I keep a donation box in my closet. Every time I see something that has not been worn or used in a long time (particularly handbags and shoes), I drop them in the box. I say 'Ciao' and 'I hope you enjoy your new home where you'll be adored everyday'.

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