A couple of years ago, we were getting ready to move and I said something on Facebook about throwing away all of my clothes so I didn’t have to pack them. In response, a friend linked Project 333. I’m not going to describe the whole project here because you can just click the link. In short, you wear only 33 items for 3 months, and then switch out items based on the season for the next 3 months.
At the time, I thought that was completely untenable. I loved so many of my clothes! Colors! Styles! Fun! Shoes! There was no way I could do it. Though I did start the journey to minimizing my closet that move and got rid of a lot more two years later when we moved again. My life has changed a lot in the past few years, so now I’m ready to dive in. Here’s my quick list on why I’m now trying this out:
1) I want to stop looking schmucky every time I go out (Read: I want to stop wearing yoga pants and tank tops all the time)
2) I want to use time that would be spent trying on multiple outfits in the morning on things that are more important to me
3) I want to pull back on my consumerism
4) I want to have fewer items to move
5) I want to know every piece in my closet fits well and matches with multiple other items in my closet
I’ve put together my first capsule of 33 items.
This capsule includes the following:
- 2 plain t-shirts
- 2 graphic tees
- 3 plain tank tops
- 3 fun, summery tank tops
- 3 tops that are nicer than tank tops/t-shirts, but aren’t professional tops
- 2 professional tops
- black pencil skirt
- denim skirt
- 6 short dresses
- 1 maxi dress
- 1 pair of jeans
- 1 pair of long black shorts
- 1 pair of dark denim shorts
- 1 pair of denim cutoffs
- 1 pair of denim capris
- 1 pair of black sandals
- 1 pair of gold sandals
- 1 pair of black dress flats
- 1 pair of sneakers
This is clearly the capsule of someone who doesn’t have an office job. I suspect this capsule will change drastically after I move on from PhD school.
Things that don’t count:
- Undergarments and socks
- Gym wear
- Lounge wear
The hitch with the gym wear and lounge wear is that you’re not supposed to actually wear those things outside. I’ll need to keep this in check because I’ve pretty much been going out in gym wear and (ashamedly) lounge wear for the majority of my outings the past 9 months.
I’ve fudged a couple of the rules here. You’re supposed to include outerwear and all accessories in the 33 items. I did not for several reasons:
- I get to wear jewelry so infrequently due to the kiddo that I decided they wouldn’t count
- I have exactly 3 purses that serve specific purposes and only one pair of sunglasses. Counting them didn’t fit into the spirit of why I signed up for this to begin with
- I will possibly wear my exercise shoes out, and I didn’t count them
- It’s summer, so I expect there will only be a rare occasion in which I will need outerwear
Even with this fudging, I’m already looking at the items I chose and thinking I could get rid of a few more things. Then I would have space for that other pair of shoes and some jewelry. We’ll see how the first month goes. I may edit and provide an updated capsule at the end of the season. Also, even though I didn’t count the jewelry, I went through and minimized my collection. If I stick with this until next summer, I think I’ll potentially include jewelry in my count of items. I will also use this season to investigate the outerwear situation. Next year I will potentially count my raincoat and a light sweater in my capsule, but similar to the jewelry this year, I’m not sure I really care. That said, I know I own too many light sweaters and need to let some of them go.
So where did the rest of my clothes go? I’m donating or selling those things that are in good repair that just aren’t my favorites or that fit me weirdly. I’ve put items more appropriate for other seasons under my bed. Also under my bed are clothes I like but didn’t make the cut. If I don’t miss them, and they don’t make it into another capsule, they’ll be donated or sold as well. This round was relatively easy. The hardest thing was getting rid of several items that I have emotional attachment to because of good memories in those clothes but are just not appropriate for this season of my life. I expect the colder seasons to be more difficult for me as they just seem to need more items of clothing, but we will see.
The “official” Project 333 round is starting July 1 and the three months goes to the end of September. Frankly, that doesn’t make sense to me given how the seasons run here in Colorado. I’m planning to use this capsule until the end of August and switch for September – November. I’ll re-evaluate when September comes and see if I’m ready to move on to fall clothes or not. For now, here we go!