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When I first heard of capsule wardrobes, Project 333 kept appearing. Having a Project 333 wardrobe is very popular for anyone wanting to try a capsule wardrobe for the first time.
For me, trying a capsule wardrobe was necessary due to lack of space for my entire wardrobe. You can read about that here. I was so apprehensive and nervous, but realized after a few weeks how rewarding a smaller wardrobe was!
There are many benefits and learning experiences associated with a capsule wardrobe, which is why I’m writing this post.
I want to help you discover the beauty of a capsule wardrobe, specifically with the following information:
- Learning the benefits of boundaries with a capsule wardrobe
- Information and my personal experience with a Project 333 wardrobe
- How to create your own Project 333 wardrobe
It is important I start with the benefits, because if you’re anything like me, hearing that you have to set a limit on the pieces within your wardrobe isn’t your idea of fun.
Once you realize all you can gain from a capsule wardrobe, then you open yourself up to trying it and seeing if it is for you or not.
Benefits of Boundaries
You quickly realize which pieces you love within your wardrobe
It is easy to have a large wardrobe full of clothes that you think you love and need. However, when you add the contraint of allowing so many pieces for your capsule wardrobe, you realize you don’t necessarily love or need as many as you originally thought.
The same is true for the pieces you do choose for your capsule wardrobe. Just because you love it when you first start doesn’t mean you’re going to continue loving that piece into the future.
It could be due to fit, quality, or just the fact that you love to wear other things.
I decluttered a royal blue blouse that I used to love wearing, because I realized that I hadn’t worn it in a while. I wasn’t sure if it still fit well or if I enjoyed wearing it, so I made a point to wear it for at least one more day.
Within a few minutes I realized I stopped wearing it as often, because the fit was uncomfortable. I loved looking at it, but didn’t enjoy wearing it.
Reduce time worrying about what to wear
When you have fewer pieces that you enjoy wearing, it is easier and quicker to choose your outfits. This frees you up to give more time to the important things in your life and less decision fatigue throughout the day.
You take better care of your clothes
With having fewer clothes, you create a need and wanting to take better care of them. It is easier to pay attention to labels for proper care instructions.
I’ve personally found that my sweaters last several seasons longer, because I choose to care for them more with a smaller wardrobe than I had with a larger wardrobe.
Capsule wardrobes increase your versatility for different outfits, because the idea is to pick pieces that pair well with several things within your wardrobe.
This creates a fun experience for your wardrobe, because you pair things together that you hadn’t before downsizing your wardrobe.
Referring back to point two, your creativity can increase in your life overall, because you aren’t as worried with what you’ll wear that day.
Develop your style
The coolest thing about a capsule wardrobe is being able to hone in on your style. You may have a little boho, some classic, and a lot of eclectic pieces within your wardrobe currently.
When you create a capsule wardrobe, you quickly decide which pieces you want to represent your style.
I personally had a little bit of everything in my wardrobe. I loved the idea of boho and classic mixed together, but at the end of choosing my pieces, classic won my heart.
I adore those who choose different styles. They just aren’t for me personally.
What is Project 333 capsule wardrobe? Who created Project 333?
Project 333 was created by Courtney Carver at Be More With Less.
Her rules are pretty simple.
- 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.
Why I chose to try Project 333
I chose to try Project 333 for a few different reasons. Overall, the wardrobe seemed simple enough and it gave me the boundaries I needed for my first time reducing the size of my wardrobe.
Here are my specific reasons for trying Project 333:
1. Defining my style by having fewer pieces.
2. Love the pieces I have.
3. Eliminate the excess.
4. Save time in the mornings by not being hung up on what to wear.
5. Learn how to incorporate pieces in multiple outfits.
6. See which pieces I wear and which are taking up space.
The Process of Choosing My Capsule Wardrobe Pieces:
First, I culled pieces I didn’t wear or like anymore.
Then, I boxed up my summer clothes for storage, because I was creating my fall/winter capsule wardrobe.
I decided to pick 2 dresses for special occasions; 6 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of jeggings; and a mixture of tops, including tank tops for layering, blouses, sweaters, and a vest.
It consisted of a lot of colorful options that didn’t pair with many things, but I was determined to make it work! I reminded myself what would happen if this experiment succeeded, and didn’t look back.
The pieces not chosen for this project were given to a girl in need, so there wasn’t a fall back plan. I was all in with this challenge.
What I learned after four months
I love how easy it is to get ready in the mornings. No longer having to pick out what I am going to wear ahead of time is great! I don’t have much to choose from and I like all of my pieces, so I can’t lose!
Certain pieces were worn more often than others, and I am working to change that. Even with my wardrobe as small as it is, I still forget about some of the pieces I have.
The hard truths I learned during this experiment:
- I don’t like to iron, and I don’t wear shirts that need ironing.
- White is not my color!
- I love every piece in my wardrobe.
- I have holes in my wardrobe needing to be filled before spring gets here.
- If it is heavy and hurts my neck as I’m wearing it, out it goes! [ I let go of a really cute biker type jacket, because it gave me headaches when I wore it. ]
- Now I know what I wear, and have culled the rest. Just because I like it doesn’t mean it’s earned hanging space.
- I am very picky about what I like.
- I need less variety pieces and more staples. This way, I will be able to create more versatile outfits, and not continue to repeat an outfit so many times.
My overall thoughts about Project 333:
Project 333 has added a lot of value to my life for a few reasons
- I no longer worry about what I am going to wear. I will always look fabulous!
- It has help me in developing my style by narrowing down to the pieces I love and wear.
- It has given me space for other things that matter. I am speaking in the physical sense and mental.
Why you should try Project 333
The freedom a capsule wardrobe provides is incredible, but I specifically recommend that you try Project 333.
It isn’t a lifelong commitment to only having 33 pieces in your wardrobe, but rather about being more intentional with your wardrobe as the seasons change.
You aren’t compromising your style choices or reducing your entire wardrobe. Instead, you choose pieces you love to create a season of outfits and change it with each season.
Things to consider with a capsule wardrobe
As I mentioned in the benefits section above, you have the chance to hone in on your style and creativity when you create a capsule wardrobe.
However, there are a few things you need to know when creating your capsule wardrobe that will help set you up for success and loving all the outfits options you create.
1 // Choose your fashion idols carefully
If you’re like me, your wardrobe is inspired by some of your favorite fashion idols. Two of mine are Resse Witherspoon and Kate Middleton. They both have classy styles that are unique to them.
When choosing your fashion idols, as yourself the following questions to help you hone in on choosing the best to follow for your lifestyle:
- Who’s style inspires you the most?
- What is the overall style of your idols?
- What are they known for wearing?
- What do you love most about their style?
Next, you want to compare your style to their’s
- Do you wear dresses like they do?
- Do you wear the same colors?
- What do you like about their style that you aren’t doing yourself?
- What do you not like about their style and would change?
2 // Create a vision board
Being able to see outfits that inspire you help you visualize what your wardrobe could look like. You can create a digital vision board, like I did on Pinterest, or the traditional cutting photos out of a magazine.
Once you have several outfits chosen for your vision board, as yourself the following questions:
- What pieces repeat throughout your vision board?
- What colors appear most and work well together?
- Which pieces do you want to include within your capsule wardrobe?
- What pieces do you already have?
- Do you need to go shopping for any pieces you don’t currently have?
3 // The basic wardrobe essentials
There are specific pieces you want to ensure that you have within your wardrobe, because they help set the foundation for your capsule wardrobe and increase versatility within it.
- Tank top
- Short-sleeve tee
- Long-sleeve tee
- Little Black Dress
- Denim Jeans
- Black Skirt
4 // Versatility with your wardrobe
The thing that makes capsule wardrobes great is their versatility. Having pieces that work with multiple pieces in your wardrobe provide you with limitless pairing options, which prevent boredom with your wardrobe.
You don’t want to have one top that only works with one pair of jeans. The top won’t get worn as often or you’ll wear the outfit so often that you get bored of it. Niether situation is ideal.
5 // Consider your lifestyle
As you create your capsule wardrobe, be sure to think of the things you do day in and out, special occassions, and things you don’t do.
You don’t want a wardrobe full of dresses if you never wear dresses. Use your fashion idols as inspiration, but be realistic with your lifestyle when choosing your pieces.
How many items should be in a capsule wardrobe?
With Project 333, it is suggested to have only 33 pieces. However, if you include accessories within these 33 pieces, your items count will be lower.
I personally believe you include or exclude accessories from your capsule wardrobe. It isn’t so much about the number of pieces as much as it is about being intentional with the boundaries you set in place for yourself.
How do you scale down your wardrobe?
1 // Choose a neutral
This is key to having a small wardrobe. When you choose just one neutral, everything easily works together.
You can also get dressed in the dark and not have to worry if you’re wearing brown or black.
2 // Season
What season are you in currently? What season will you be in as you approach the end of the 3 months?
Knowing the answer to both of these questions will help you choose appropriate pieces.
3 // What do you wear and what do you not wear?
This may seem obvious, but identifying what you do and don’t wear currently will help you narrow down to your Project 333 wardrobe quicker.
4 // Evaluate & Fine Tune
Once you think you have your pieces picked, evaluate what you’ve chosen.
Does it all work well together?
Do you enjoy and feel comfortable in each piece you’ve chosen?
Are there any pieces you want to swap for another piece you didn’t have room for due to your boundaries?
5 // Fill in gaps with brands you know to be of good quality
You’ll quickly learn how important it is to have quality pieces within your Project 333 wardrobe, if you don’t already know the value of investing in quality pieces.
Be sure to invest in quality pieces and don’t assume price equates to quality.
6 // Box up anything that isn’t included within your wardrobe, including hangers
It is important to box up anything that isn’t included within your capsule wardrobe, so that you aren’t tempted to adjust your boundaries.
You want to stay firm with your decisions, especially if this is your first time trying a capsule wardrobe.
Do I include accessories within the 33 items?
While I did mention above that it is up to you about whether or not you include them, I do want to also mention a couple of options you have.
If you do include accessories within your Project 333 wardrobe:
Be sure to only include pieces that work with the majority of your wardrobe. Since most of your pieces will be clothing, you want to ensure that your accessories are well thoughtout.
You want to choose metals over colors, because this ensures you have plenty of versatility within your wardrobe. When you choose a colorful accessory, you may only get to pair it with one or two outfits versus the majority of your outfits.
If you don’t include accessories within your Project 333 wardrobe:
You can create a capsule wardrobe for your accessories. I do advise to keep pieces paired down to 33 or less.
I did this as an alternative to including them within my wardrobe, because I wanted to evaluate most of my jewelry collection. There were a few pieces I knew I would keep, but I had several pieces that I wasn’t sure about.
This allowed me to also declutter the pieces I didn’t enjoy wearing without feeling like I could have chosen another blouse as a resulting thought.
Project 333 Inspiration
It is helpful to see examples of different Project 333 wardrobes when building your own, so I’ve included some of my favorites for you.
Project 333 YouTube Videos:
My Green Closet:
These are just a few of the videos you’ll find if you search Project 333 on YouTube, but they are what inspired me as I chose my pieces.
Project 333 Blog Posts:
Final Thoughts about capsule wardrobes and Project 333
I believe a capsule wardrobe is something you should try at least once in your life to gain a different perspective towards fashion, clothes, and setting boundaries in your life.
This experience has opened my eyes to see how true the saying “quality over quantity” is.
Have you created a Project 333 wardrobe? If so, let me know about your experience below in the comments!
If you haven’t, will you give it a try now?