At the beginning of October I decided to ‘test run’ Project 333 – dressing with just 33 items for three months.
I didn’t write a blog before starting because I didn’t know whether I would stick with it. I had after all fallen at the first hurdle by not being able to narrow it down to just 33 items!
When I’ve talked to people about minimalism and the minimalism game– the general response is ‘yep – I need to do that’. People can really see the benefits of having less ‘stuff’ cluttering up their lives.
But when I’ve mentioned Project 333 to people – the response has mostly been a confused look and the question ‘why would you do that?’ So I thought I would try and explain it here!
I want a capsule wardrobe because I want to…
- Wear everything in my wardrobe.
- LOVE everything in my wardrobe.
- Have a larger proportion of handmade clothes.
- Have more good quality clothes made from sustainable natural fibres.
- Find it easier to choose what to wear.
- Look/feel good!
Project 333 is a great way to test dressing with less without actually getting rid of everything else! I’ve had numerous clear-outs since discovering minimalism, but felt I’d hit a wall where I didn’t want to get rid of any more clothes.
This project has allowed me to start from scratch. I emptied my wardrobe, chose my 40 items to put back in and put everything else under the bed.
I’m planning to create a new capsule wardrobe every three months and each time I will sort through and get rid of some of the underbed-drobe. I will keep doing this until I feel I’ve narrowed it down to an ongoing capsule wardrobe that I’m happy with.
So my Project 340 wardrobe looks like this…
There are some empty hangers because a few bits are in the wash!
My 40 items are:
- 3 skirts
- 4 bottoms (jeans, jeggings, 2x leggings)
- 5 tops
- 6 dresses
- 3 cardigans
- 2 jumpers
- 4 pairs of shoes
- 3 coats
- 2 necklaces
- 2 pairs of earrings
Project 333 rules say not to include underwear, nightwear, at home lounge wear, sportswear and jewellery you never take off.
I’ve also not included bags other than my handbag because I think they’re a practical neccesity rather than part of an outfit.
Am I feeling the benefits?
Yes! There is absolutely no stress to getting dressed anymore. I can remember what’s in my wardrobe and what’s in the wash and barely spend anytime at all deciding what to wear.
Because there are lots of potential combinations – I’m not getting bored of the limited outfits (yet!). And most of us don’t wear everything in our wardrobe so I’m probably wearing the same number of items – just removing the stress and guilt of seeing all the things I don’t wear.
And most importantly – I’m learning what I need to do to improve my wardrobe. Most of my favourite clothes actually don’t fit me that well and I want to replace them with handmade clothes that I’m comfortable and happy in. I’ve signed up for a sewing course starting in January and I will know what to take into account when choosing shapes, styles and fabrics.
Have I cheated?
Yes of course I’ve cheated! But only a little bit…
Choosing 40 items rather than 33 was a cheat to start with. But really I don’t think the number matters too much – I’m doing this to restrict my wardrobe in order to save time, stress and money – and it’s doing that job.
I have cheated twice with wearing items outside of my 40. Firstly with shoes. Being born with wonky feet and having an operation to straighten my toe a few years back means that comfort always comes before style with shoes.
It takes me literally years to bed in new shoes and the new brogues I bought last autumn are still stiff and uncomfortable. I wanted to include the new brogues in my 40 items to encourage me to wear them more – but with a few knitting shows in the diary I needed to dig out my tatty comfy ones to see me through.
The other cheat was also show related. I’ve only allowed one scarf/cowl in my wardrobe and I chose my Mood Scarf. But I wanted to wear my Lazy Lace Cowl at the Knitting and Stitching show and at Yarn Expo…so I’m counting that as uniform okay?
Project 333 is a brilliant way to get started if you want a capsule wardrobe. Whether you stick to the rules or bend them a bit – it’s a good starting point.