Last winter, I tried Project 333. Project 333 is basically an easy-to-follow capsule wardrobe platform. The idea is to have only 33 articles of clothing (excluding undergarments) during a 3 month period that usually aligns with the different seasons. Check out the website for more details and inspiration.
I picked out 33 articles of clothing out of my entire wardrobe that I would wear from January through March. I put the rest in plastic storage bins up in the attic. This was my first experience with any type of capsule wardrobe and I learned a lot.
I was exposed to the fact that less options actually makes making a choice easier. I learned about my own personal style. I realized that there was not a lot of cohesion throughout my wardrobe. I also was starting to see that I wasn’t very good at shopping, i.e. buying clothes that would serve me and my lifestyle well while also reflecting my style.
I really loved having less clothes hanging in my closet. I was able to hang all of my tops, dresses, and pants in my small closet with spare room to breathe and move. I folded a few sweaters on my one shelf next to a basket with my scarves, gloves, and hat.
One hat! I used to think I needed hat options — I don’t really know why. I found one hat that went with all of my clothes; I thought it was super cute and it made going out so much easier. Do I need a hat? Yes/no. That’s it. Not also The one with the brim? Red or white? Does that pattern match the rest of my outfit?
I also found a huge flaw in my wardrobe that I have since been trying to slowly correct. Although the colors throughout my wardrobe went pretty well together, I had a thing for patterns. Nearly all of my tops were patterns and almost half of my bottoms (mostly skirts), as well.
When I went shopping, it seemed, I was drawn to statement pieces. There is nothing wrong with statement pieces, but having a wardrobe full of them is not very conductive to easy mix-and-matching. With so many patterns and designs, the amount of outfits I could make were very limited, even though I had a lot of clothes. This only went with that. I could wear that top with any bottoms, but then I couldn’t wear any of my cardigans with it. I felt limited.
So I discovered that having less clothes in my closet was better than stuffing as much as I could in there. And I discovered that I needed a better wardrobe. Not necessarily better pieces, but rather a better whole, with pieces that worked together for me and my current lifestyle. (Current being the keyword since I had recently gone through some life changes, like having a baby.)
Doing Project 333 inspired me to unload a lot of clothes from my life. I really thought about each piece, how much I wore it, how I felt while wearing it, and if it really served its purpose. When spring came, I had such fewer clothes that I didn’t bother selecting 33 pieces and storing the rest — I was only left with about 40 pieces total (not counting out-of-season pieces).
So although I’m not technically following Project 333 anymore, it was a great introduction to capsule wardrobes for me. Now I’m moving in a new direction and so far it’s working pretty dern good. I’ll be posting more about my continuing journey with capsule wardrobes soon.