While I’ve never been a pack rat (never had much space when I lived in big, expensive cities like Boston, LA and Dublin) in recent years I’ve made an effort to cut down on possessions, especially clothes, books, magazines, CDs and records. I’ve donated a lot of clothes to Goodwill and music books and magazines to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. If you’re interested in CDs I’m selling, please visit my Discogs store.
Capsule wardrobes seem to be the buzz among minimalist folks lately, so I thought I would investigate. The challenge I like best is called Project 333. The basic rules are that you wear no more than 33 items in a 3 month period. This allows for seasonal changes for folks who live in places where the weather can range from 0 to 100.
What counts: clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes. Guys, this includes hats, baseball caps, and sports jerseys!
What doesn’t count: wedding ring (or sentimental jewelry you never remove), socks, underwear, workout clothes and sleepwear. Note: workout clothes and sleepwear DO count if you wear them for purposes other than working out or sleeping!
This weekend I went through my closet and found that it wasn’t really that difficult to reduce everything to 33 items to wear all year round. As the rules state, I boxed up everything else up — out of sight and out of mind. So here goes:
The following should cover all weather conditions in Cleveland
Left to Right:
#1 Black Arctic Command Military Parka
#2 Black Ted Baker Trench Coat
#3 Gray Zip-Up Hooded Sweatshirt
#4 Black leather jacket
#5 Black Velvet Blazer
#6 – #7: Black Tailored Suit
From Monday to Friday I work in an office with a business casual dress code. As long as I wear a shirt with a collar or a nice sweater when it’s colder, I’m golden. As you can see, my two favorite colors are black and purple, especially the latter, going back to when I became an obsessive Jesus and Mary Chain fan more than 30 years ago!
Left to Right
#8 Black/White Uniqlo checked
#9 Purple Trumaker
#10 Purple Paisley Relco London
#11 Purple/Black Ben Sherman
#12 Black Trumaker
#13 Black Varvatos
#14 Black Uniqlo
Top to Bottom:
#15 Merc Blue sweater (has a Chevron pattern that you can’t see in the photo)
#16 Black Crew-Neck
#17 Black V-Neck
#18 Black Turtleneck
My office’s business casual dress code does allow for jeans, which I admit does help me reduce possessions. Note: If you own shorts that you wear in summer months, they do count. I don’t own any shorts because I have issues with my super skinny runner legs, which leads to the clothing brand Uniqlo. I had been a Levi’s man my whole life until I discovered Uniqlo last year. They’re a reasonably cheap Japanese brand. Their skinny jeans are a perfect fit for me. They’re slim fitting without being ballerina skinny, like some brands of skinny fit jeans.
Left to Right and Top to Bottom:
#19 Faded Blue Uniqlo jeans
#20 Dark Wash Uniqlo jeans
#21 Olive Green Topman heavy cotton trousers (has an old school military type look)
#22 Black Uniqlo jeans
I’ll admit it, T-Shirts are my Achilles heel. Being a music guy and a competitive runner, they just seem to multiply. As I can only wear T-Shirts on the weekend (I can get away with the striped one for work), I had to make some choices. As I don’t like the t-shirts you get free at running races, I donated virtually all of the ones I owned to Goodwill and picked an assortment of old band/music T-shirts to be my new workout clothes (see workout disclaimer). This left me with about ten T-shirts. I picked four for this season and may rotate a little at the end of the summer season per the Project 33 rules.
Top to bottom:
#23 Striped Uniqlo
#24 Ringo Deathstarrr band
#25 Black White design by Camille Rose Garcia
#26 Black/White design by Wolf Child
Nice and simple. The old me would be impressed. I’ve had my share of retro sneaker phases in the past, but I’m just not into that any more. My Doc Martens are as comfortable as any sneaker I’ve owned and they look good with a suit or jeans and a T-Shirt.
Left to Right:
#27 Doc Martens boots
#28 Ben Sherman Chelsea boots
Now for the extra bits. This was pretty easy for me. I only own about a half-dozen ties, so it wasn’t hard to reduce it to two for this challenge. The black tie will be a year round staple (I may change up the other one after 33 days for some variety). I’ve never been a hat or cap kind of guy and I don’t carry a bag to work (just my wallet), so this is it for me.
Left to Right and Top to Bottom:
#29 Black tie with Gold vertical stripes by Cyberoptix
#30 Black tie by Ben Sherman
#31 Tottenham Hotspur scarf
#32 Black belt
#33 Minimalist Union Jack wallet (has room for two credit cards, driver’s license, insurance card and my work ID)
Coming soon: A blog entry on minimalist traveling w/ my wife Arabella as a special guest. Lately the two of us have been sharing one carry-on for trips as long as one week –no one seems to believe us, so we’ll do a video demonstration.