If you are just getting started with capsule wardrobe challenge, Project 333, you may have questions (and feelings). Creating my first Project 333 brought up a lot for me. I wasn’t sure about my accessories, workout clothing, outerwear and other categories. How much was “enough”?
I had no concept of what “enough” meant to me. I was always focused on more. Instead of living an “enough is enough” life, I was more in line with “too much of everything is just enough.” But eventually, the too much was too heavy.
image credit: Kristen Doyle
The life-changing magic of figuring out what enough means to you.
I started minimalist fashion challenge Project 333 for a few reasons, and one of them was to determine what enough meant to me. I didn’t know and was shocked (and delighted) to discover that in many cases, one was enough. I only need one pair of sunglasses, one purse, one pair of jeans, one winter jacket and one piece of my favorite jewelry. This is a start contrast to my former collections of those items.
One suits my needs, and when there is only one, I take better care of it and appreciate it more. Not to mention that I have no decisions to make in terms of which one to use on a day-to-day basis. I simply use the one I have. Of course, I need more than one of other items, like underwear, socks, loungewear and sleepwear.
Choosing 33 items of clothing for my minimalist wardrobe shed a light on physical baggage and emotional baggage. I had no idea that the articles of clothing and outfits hanging in my closet were carrying a lifetime of thought and feelings about how what I wore defined who I was.
This new approach gave me a clear path to sample simplicity.
In my book, Project 333, The Minimalist Fashion Challenge that Proves Less Really Is So Much More, I write more about how to do the challenge and the benefits to watch out for. This month we are celebrating the 3 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of Project 333, The Minimalist Fashion Challenge That Proves Less Really is So Much More. To celebrate, I’m mailing signed bookplates to anyone who purchases the book in March 2023. If you’ve already read it, get your signed bookplate by reviewing the book here. Once you buy the book or leave your review, fill out this form and I’ll send your signed bookplate.
I’ll never tell you what to include in your capsule wardrobe but I highly recommend that you exclude the following, because seriously … enough is enough.
Enough is enough when it comes to these 5 things
1. Let go of perfectionism when getting started with Project 333.
You might not get your capsule wardrobe right the first time around, and chances are, at the end of three months, you’ll see everything differently. You won’t include the perfect sweaters, t-shirt, scarf or bracelet because perfect just doesn’t exist. Don’t worry about doing it right. This is a challenge, an experiment. And in three months, you can do it all over again.
2. There is no room for comparison in this fashion challenge.
My wardrobe won’t look like your wardrobe. You don’t have to wear all black or own a dress you can wear five different ways. You live in a different climate, have a different lifestyle, and have different tastes in clothes. You may be interested in a minimalist lifestyle or simply a more streamlined closet. Make this project your own.
3. Stubbornness won’t serve you.
If you get started with Project 333 and the pair of boots you included aren’t working, swap them out. Just because you wrote your list on paper doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. Be fierce but flexible. Set boundaries but be clear that this is not a project in suffering. If you get surprised by cold or warm weather and need to add or remove something, do it.
4. Guilt is wearing you down not lifting you up.
When you’re boxing up your clothes and creating your donate pile, you might feel guilty for spending too much on things you don’t wear. I get it! I had an expensive shopping habit. Even though I didn’t buy expensive things, I bought lots of things that contributed to an extensive collection of never-worn little black dresses and a consistent lack of satisfaction.
What you should be feeling is proud that you are open to making important changes. You should be feeling excited about a new challenge. Feel happy that your clothes may be going to someone who really needs them. Trade your guilt for the good stuff. Letting go of the stuff you don’t wear and enjoy is an act of self-care.
5. This is not a project in suffering.
If you wear out your favorite pair of jeans, or a coat that you included becomes a little too snug, replace it. If you’re unhappy with your selection, reselect. Use Project 333 as a way to learn about what you really need and want instead of treating it like a punishment. De-cluttering your closet, ignoring the trends and marketing promises should remove stress from your life. This should be fun and make your life easier.
We’ve had enough of those five things (and these three thee things) in our closets, in our lives and in our hearts. I invite you to let go and make room for what you really want in there.
Project 333 getting started. Start with these 7 steps.
Now that you know what not to include, let’s talk about what to include and steps to take when getting started with Project 333.
- Take an inventory of what you own. I recommend getting all wardrobe items together in one space so you can see what you’ve got.
- Clean out your closet. Here’s a practical guide.
- Get started with this approach or this one.
- Hide everything you aren’t donating or wearing. Get it out of sight.
- Dress with your 33 items (clothes, accessories, jewelry, shoes) for 3 months. During that time, ignore all sales and shopping.
- At the end of 3 months, check in. How did it go? What’s next?
- Let me know how it goes! Share your OOTDs and wardrobe images with #project333 on Instagram.
I’ve written countless blog posts about Project 333 and a whole book with step-by-step instructions. I share my wardrobe on Instagram and keep talking about it because it’s made such a big difference in my life. If you are in search of a way to reduce stress and bring more peace and ease to your mornings, try it. I can’t wait to hear how you use Project 333 in your closet and life.
This month we are celebrating the 3 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of Project 333, The Minimalist Fashion Challenge That Proves Less Really is So Much More. To celebrate, I’m mailing signed bookplates to anyone who purchases the book in March 2023. If you’ve already read it, get your signed bookplate by reviewing the book here. Once you buy the book or leave your review, fill out this form and I’ll send your signed bookplate.