Minimalism is all the rage. Contemporary design and décor is all about a clean, sleek look; straight, simple lines; and the absence of embellishments and cluttery knick-knacks. You may have already embraced the minimalistic look in your home and workspace. Now, are you ready to take the idea of living with less to a whole new level?
Project 333 is a wardrobe challenge that has been slimming down closets around the world since 2010. The concept behind the challenge is to choose 33 items of clothing to wear exclusively for the next 3 months. Since its inception, Project 333 has attracted thousands of followers and a large, active community of supporters. Participants boast about a smoother morning routine, lots of extra time, and an increased sense of happiness and calmness thanks to their super-skinny wardrobes. And, of course, since shopping for new clothing is off their radar, they save loads of money during the 3 months of Project 333, too.
Are you up for the challenge?
Well then, let’s get started!
There have been many variations on the idea of capsule wardrobes since Project 333 was launched by Courtney Carver almost nine years ago. So, feel free to create your own rules to suit your needs. However, these are the two original rules of the challenge:
- 33 for 3
That’s 33 items of clothing you will wear for 3 months. Nothing more! Those 33 items include clothing, jewelry, accessories, outerwear and shoes. They don’t include wedding rings or other highly sentimental jewelry, underwear, sleepwear, at-home-only loungewear and workout-only active wear.
- Lock up the rest
Once you’ve chosen your 33 items of clothing, put the rest of your closet out of sight. Lock it up in a sealed box and hide it in your attic or stuff it into a garbage bag and toss it in your basement — just make sure it’s stowed away where you won’t see it. For the next 3 months, the 33 items you’ve chosen are all that exist in your wardrobe.
The great purge
Pareto’s 80/20 Principle applies perfectly to most of our closets. We wear 20% of our clothing, 80% of the time, and 80% of our clothing, 20% of the time. Use this opportunity to break out of this lifetime habit.
Before getting started on creating your capsule, take inventory of your entire closet and throw out or donate the stuff you never wear. When you’re done, you’ll be left with clothing that fits you, isn’t hopelessly dated and is in decent, wearable condition.
To make it simpler, create three separate piles: one for “Love it,” another for “Like it” and a third for “Loathe it.” Remember to pass judgment on your footwear, jewelry and accessories, too.
Hesitant about tossing anything into the “Loathe it” pile? If an item meets any of the following criteria, you know where it belongs:
- You haven’t worn it in the last two years.
- It’s embarrassingly dated and is not coming back in style during your lifetime.
- It belongs to your ex-whatever .
- It’s a relic from high school you’ve long outgrown.
- It’s torn in places it shouldn’t be.
- It smells weird.
- You’re saving it for your children.
- It’s see-through even though it’s not supposed to be.
- The material is pulled or knotted.
- You suck in your gut to get it to fasten and you can’t breathe when you wear it.
- Shoes that give you blisters and/or pinch your toes
- Necklaces that have been hopelessly knotted for years
- Earrings that are painful to wear
- Pants that don’t quite meet your ankles
When choosing items for your capsule wardrobe, work with the “Love it” pile first. Items in the “Like it” column might make it into Project 333, so keep them handy for now. The stuff in your third pile can be trashed or donated to charity.
Now, doesn’t your closet look neater?
Tips for creating your capsule
This is by far the hardest part of the challenge, even with your closet trimmed. You’re going to need to go through your “Love it” and “Like it” piles and choose a wardrobe for 3 full months.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Consider signature items. We all have that wardrobe staple or accessory that is just “us.” It might be a favorite pair of boots, a necklace you adore or a layering tee that makes every outfit super-comfy. Even if it isn’t absolutely necessary, include it in your capsule if it will make you happy. Project 333 is not about suffering.
- Choose quality. Make sure to choose clothing that is made well and is highly durable. Remember, you will be wearing these items a lot!
- Think ahead. Will the seasons be changing during the months of your challenge? What kind of outerwear will you need? What sort of footwear will become necessary? Will you be attending any special events like a wedding or a formal party? Consider all of this when creating your capsule.
- Don’t buy your capsule wardrobe. Sure, you can go out and buy the perfect 33 items for your wardrobe, but then you run the risk of being stuck with something that looked way better in the store than it does in real life for the next 3 months. You’ll also be spending money instead of saving it. For Project 333, stick with what you have, like and love.
You’re all set! You can find more helpful tips and lots of support on bemorewithless.com.
Best of luck with Project 333. And who knows? You may just find you love your simpler wardrobe so much that when your 3 months are through, you’re ready to give it another shot!