#4. Project 333

The challenge:

To create a capsule wardrobe of 33 items total, and that’s all you’ll wear for the next 3 months.


I had so many faces I projected out into the world, each punctuated by a different outfit: my work face, my lazy-at-home face, my Saturday night face, my ra-ra gym face. I wondered if there was a way to strip off what wasn’t fully me and bring what I walked out into the world with, and what I stuck my tongue out and grinned into my mirror at home with, together and all around more unified and cohesive. In the midst of my minimalism obsession I came upon Project 333 which turned out to be the answer I was searching for. This was a great one for learning how to unify all my faces and peel off some of the masks I wore.


Everything about this project can be found here on its creator Courtney Carver’s ‘Be More With Less’ blog.


Courtney has the rules laid out in the link above, which I’ll repeat here in her words:


The Rules

  • When: Every three months (It’s never too late to start so join in anytime!)
  • What: 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes.
  • What not: these items are not counted as part of the 33 items – wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear,  and workout clothing (you can only wear your workout clothing to workout)
  • How: Choose your 33 items, box up the remainder of your fashion statement, seal it with tape and put it out of sight.
  • What else: consider that you are creating a wardrobe that you can live, work and play in for three months. Remember that this is not a project in suffering. If your clothes don’t fit or are in poor condition, replace them.


I couldn’t be sure which pieces in my closet were actually useful favorites, so I broke things down a little further and gave myself a stepping-stone project before venturing to 333 Capsule Wardrobe territory:


I used the backward hanger closet trick:

  1. Turn all the hangers in your closet backwards so the hooks are facing toward you, the wrong way around.
  2. When you wear something, turn that hanger around to face the correct way.
  3. After 6 months (or 3 months as it was), you get a very clear picture of your favorites and what actually gets worn. All the hangers still facing backwards are ready for donating.


A few months later, it was clear what I used and what I didn’t, and moving ahead with creating a useful capsule wardrobe after that was a breeze.


Good News for You!

Although this may seem new and overwhelming, no need for panic. You’ve already done this many times before. Every time you pack a suitcase you’re essentially creating a capsule wardrobe; taking in all considerations of your trip, you minimize the number of items you bring while maximizing your combination options. That’s skill right there and you’ve already curated it!


Everyone’s basics will look a little different.

Here are a few guides to help you sort through what those might look like for you:


What’s the difference between a Capsule Wardrobe and a Minimalist Wardrobe?

A Capsule Wardrobe is a carefully selected mini wardrobe curated independently for each season. A Minimalist Wardrobe is similarly small and carefully selected, yet covers all 4 seasons in one wardrobe.


Good luck and have fun getting creative!


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