The Project 333 and Why It Was An Important Step In Culling My Wardrobe

photo (1) It’s no secret that I adore having a capsule wardrobe. The thrill of waking up, opening my closet and being able to see everything in there at a glance never gets old! I can choose an outfit, put it on and feel pulled together in less than five minutes.

However, it’s also true that I enjoy hunting for great pieces to add into my capsule that will make it fresh and even more tailored to my particular style.

How do I reconcile these two things? And how do I keep my wardrobe small enough to be seen in a glance?

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And That’s Where Project 333 Comes In

When I first crossed paths with the project 333, I appreciated the idea. That was about as far as I was planning on going with it! I had no intention of ever subscribing to the challenge of living with only 33 items in my closet! Shopping was super fun, albeit expensive, and I did NOT want to give it up. As I delved further into books and articles and blogs dedicated to living life in a simpler way, I couldn’t help but want to begin with my closet. I’ll never forget opening the double doors to my ‘hers’ closet and being completely overwhelmed with the sheer size of what I was dealing with. The guilt, the unworn items, the ill fitting just incase pieces (Just in case of what? Everything else I owned was burnt? I’ll never be able to justify why I held onto those pieces for so long!), the amount of $dollars$ I was looking at…. I purged down my wardrobe to about a third of the size that weekend. And my closet was still holding over one hundred items, easily!

As the months progressed and my dedication to living with less became cemented, I kept coming back to my closet to get rid of still more! I kept finding pieces that I just didn’t love, or loved, but not on my body, just the hanger. It was starting to be serious! And I needed help.

The project 333 was starting to look better and better to me, so I wanted to give it a try. I tried Courtney’s (the creator of project 333) suggestion and packed away all my other items, and kept out only 33. I even included my jewelry in the number! I tried for one month, but realized that I wasn’t committed. I kept going shopping and replacing items, swapping them out for pieces that I wasn’t wearing.

In order to really buckle down and commit I made a public announcement on Instagram, and swore off shopping except for very clearly outlined circumstances.

What ensued was beyond my wildest dreams! 33 items was actually so much to choose from! I rarely wore the exact same outfit twice, at least I wore a different variation. I found it easier to comply with the restrictions when I broke the rules a little. I don’t count my shoes or jackets or accessories in my 33. My reasoning for this is that I am committed to living with less of everything anyway, so my shoes and handbags and scarves don’t take up much room in my closet OR empty my pocketbook. I’ve been having a ton of fun creating outfits from my carefully chosen pieces, and I don’t know that I’d ever want to go back to having a wardrobe without a limit. That limit is a fantastic challenge for my personality because I am so excited about having a perfectly curated collection that I continually search for ‘better’ and more ‘perfect’ unless I have a reason to stop. If I purchase an item, something needs to be taken out of rotation. If I love all the pieces I’m wearing, there is little incentive to purchase more!

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Dress With Less

Another of Courtney Carver’s creations, the Dress With Less course, helped me solidify my commitment to trying the project and further culling my wardrobe. I really enjoyed this micro-course, as it taught me so much more that just how to pair down my wardrobe. It also gave me the tools I needed to properly make decisions about clothing in and outside of the dressing room. Now that I know what I’m looking for in an item of clothing (i.e. how it related to my style and the rest of my wardrobe), I can ‘ignore’ most of the other items in a store that previously would have distracted me. I am better equipped to say “NO” to an item I don’t absolutely love, and no longer feel compelled to purchase something just because it’s on sale!

If these are things that you struggle with when revamping your wardrobe, and/or you don’t know where to start when it comes to culling your wardrobe down to only items that you adore and feel great in, I highly recommend taking the Dress With Less micro-course, created and taught by Courtney Carver. She’s an absolute gem, full of wisdom to share and very relatable. She’s also ready and willing to help you out and answer any questions you might have!

I also recommend that you stay tuned to Steps To Simple for more tips and ideas from me!

Take a chance today, challenge yourself and enjoy the experience!

7 Responses to “The Project 333 and Why It Was An Important Step In Culling My Wardrobe

  • Karen Carmichael
    6 years ago

    Reading this makes we want to follow in your footsteps!

  • Hi!
    I’m enjoying project 333 too- I’m looking forward to loving every item so much I wouldn’t want to swap them. I’m sewing my project 333 at the moment so hopefully in another year that will be a reality for every season!

    • Cassandra Vandenhaak
      6 years ago

      Wow! That’s ambitious and amazing! Will be neat to see how that turns out!

    • Great job with getting minimized in your wardrobe Cassandra!! It does make life easier. I feel like I have more time to live now. Don’t you?
      I’m working on selecting the right colors for my coloring and then I’m with Jellie. I’m sewing my wardrobe too. That way I know it fits me and my lifestyle. I know that we will have awesome clothes when we are done. I looked at her project 333 and it’s similar to mine. Sewing your own clothes makes you wait to get new clothes too. It’s perfect to learn to wait and be happy with what you have. You enjoy it all that much more when you make it yourself too.

      • Cassandra Vandenhaak
        6 years ago

        Hi Stephanie!
        Thanks so much! I do find I have more time now, especially when getting ready for those special events! That’s really neat about how you are sewing your own clothes. You must be so proud of every outfit!

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