Project 333: A Minimalist Style Experiment


Project 333 is a minimalist fashion experiment which challenges you to dress with 33 items over the course of 3 months. It was created by Courtney of Be More with Less back in 2010, and has since become a whole community of people endeavouring to live more simply, starting with their wardrobes. 

I've always been a fan of wardrobe challenges- it always strikes me how things like the 10x10 challenge or a capsule wardrobe sound very difficult, but any time I have embarked on one of these it has been much easier than expected. I usually come away with a new sense of wardrobe contentment and a clear set of goals, not to mention the sense of calm that comes with living within the set of rules during the challenge.    

The rules for project 333? Here they are:

  1. Include 33 items of clothing, outerwear, shoes, jewelry, and other accessories.
  2. No need to include undergarments, loungewear, or athletic wear (as long as you only wear your lounge and athletic wear for those purposes! No grocery shopping in sweat pants allowed.).
  3. You also don't need to include engagement or wedding rings, or other sentimental jewelry that you never remove. 

I know, it sounds rather daunting!

So, why do I want to do this? Well, I've been dreaming of doing a capsule wardrobe for quite a while now, and it feels like every season I say "I'm really going to do this", but I never actually have. While I've really whittled down my wardrobe quite a bit in the last year, I've been feeling like I could use a bit more refining in that department. I've been keeping an eye on what I actually wear lately, and I've noticed that what I'm really wearing is a lot less than what's actually in my closet. I've been craving simplicity in every area of my life, and this seems like the perfect way to simplify my closet in one short burst. 

I'm coming into this challenge with three main goals in mind: 

1. Go on a Shopping Fast

It's so easy to get caught up in closet wish lists, and thinking that I'll finally be able to figure out my personal style if only I added this perfect jumpsuit, or just one more cashmere sweater, etc, etc, etc. I need to step away from the constant flow of saving for something I think is perfect, but coming away disappointed with my choices. A shopping fast is a good way to take a step back, live with what I already have, and take the time to really consider what holes I have in my wardrobe, and what I actually enjoy wearing. And on that note:

2. Identify my 'Closet Holes'

Without a clear sense of my personal style, it's easy to feel like there's something missing from my wardrobe. I've misinterpreted these 'closet holes' so many times, and purchased pieces that I thought were right, but ended up being not quite 'me'. Living with a tiny closet for the next three months will give me the time I need to really identify what's missing from my closet, and make more considered purchases. 

3. Define my Personal Style

While I think I have some idea of what my personal style is, it's definitely an area that I would like to refine. Not having a clear idea of my personal style has led me to make a number of style choices that haven't quite worked for me, and have left me feeling discouraged and confused. I will be taking lots of notes during this challenge, and being brutally honest with myself (and you, dear reader!) about what's working, and what's not. 

Before choosing my 33 items, I considered three pretty important things:

  1. The weather
  2. My actual lifestyle 
  3. What I know I love to wear 

I'm beginning this challenge right away, rather than waiting for a new month to begin. So I'll be going from January 15 (today) to April 15.

This time period could cover quite a variation in the weather- right now it's very cold out, but it's likely that by the end of the challenge it will be much warmer. This means that I included things like a lighter jacket and rain boots, even though right now it's hard to imagine wearing these things again any time soon. 

While I love to get dressed up, my actual lifestyle doesn't involve many instances where this is necessary or practical, so it was important that I mostly chose things I can actually wear every day. This is the hardest when it comes to what I wear to work- I manage a local cafe, so I want to look put together and professional, but I'm also in a lot of situations where my clothes can get pretty beat up. 

I started by including all of the things I know for sure I love to wear, and working my way up from there. This really helped get some momentum in getting started, and made it easier to choose the rest of the 33 items. 

I didn't include my winter accessories- things like my warm scarf, mittens, and hats, because I won't be needing these things through the whole challenge, and I don't feel that I need to simplify this part of my wardrobe. I also need to wear special non-slip shoes for work, and work is the only place I wear these, so I didn't include them in my 33. 

I will be sharing my 33 items later in the week, so check back soon for more details! 

Have you ever tried a challenge like this? Would you ever take the plunge? I'd love for you to join me!

Bye for now!