As nerdy as it sounds, I am obsessed with simplicity.

I want things easy breezy.

I have long sung the praises of the capsule wardrobe, so when I saw the 333 Project on the Becoming Minimalist Blog, I thought I had to give it a try. I want to introduce you to this super easy minimalist wardrobe, how I did it, and what I learned.

What is Project 333?

Created by Courtney Carver in 2010, the 333 Project is pretty straightforward for those of us ready to leap into the capsule wardrobe:

  • You are limited to 33 items. That includes clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear, and shoes.
  • It does not include sentimental jewelry you always wear (I always wear the same necklace and right-hand ring), undergarments, sleepwear, loungewear (leggings, t-shirts), and workout clothes (but you can only wear those when you actually exercise).

How I Did It

You can buy her $19.99 mini-course on how to get started, but here’s what I did for the price of zero dollars:

  • The day after Christmas, I laundered all my clothes and threw them on my bed.
  • I was shocked that I still had quite a few clothes that no longer fit. Except for three shirts, they all went in the donation bag. All of them.
  • After that, I considered which clothes would be best for work and play. I tend to wear my work clothes out, just changing the trousers or skirt for jeans.
  • I only picked what I really, really loved and needed.
  • I don’t know what this says about me, but I gravitated towards my most expensive and/or high-quality clothing.

Here is my list:

OUTERWEAR

  1. Wool coat
  2. Fleece vest

SHOES/ACCESSORIES

  1. Black flats
  2. Red flats
  3. Converse sneakers
  4. Black knee-high boots
  5. Tan-and-cream Burberry scarf
  6. White gold hoop earrings
  7. Watch

PANTS/SKIRTS/DRESSES

  1. Black work trousers
  2. Black jeans
  3. Black cropped pants
  4. Blue jeans
  5. Leopard-print pencil skirt
  6. Little black dress

SHIRTS/TOPS

  1. White t-shirt
  2. Black t-shirt
  3. Grey t-shirt
  4. White tunic
  5. Denim shirt
  6. Black boyfriend blazer
  7. Igigi shirt
  8. Breton t-shirt
  9. Floral tunic
  10. Black cami
  11. Black cami with lace
  12. Nude cami
  13. Fuschia cami
  14. Leopard print cami
  15. Black flyaway tank top
  16. Cashmere sweater
  17. Lightweight cropped sweater
  18. Black cardigan

Project 333 Hacks

Though it’s not mentioned in the rules, I swapped out items as the weather got warmer. I live in the Great Plains; I’ll be damned if I wear a cashmere sweater or wool coat in March. They were traded for a t-shirt and another pair of cropped pants.

Sunglasses are considered accessories, but since mine are prescription, I cheated a little and didn’t count those.

I also bought new clothes as needed. My black dress was several years old, pilled, and showing signs of wear, so I got a new Igigi dress on mega-sale thanks to eBay. As Courtney says, this is not punishment. This is only taking what you really love and wearing it in heavy rotation.

What I Learned

The 333 Project was super easy to do. Laundry loads were a little smaller, getting dressed was a heckuva lot faster, and I still got tons of compliments on what I wore by people who’d seen me wear them countless times. If my coworkers noticed I was wearing the same things over and over, they never said a word.

I realized it really is OK to spend money on quality items. My stuff from Lane Bryant (about half the clothes) isn’t expensive but still good quality. My Breton shirt and blazer came from Target. But I shouldn’t feel guilty about spending $100 on quality shoes for my poor, deformed feet. I spent a pretty penny on the Burberry scarf, but I’ve gotten more value for wear out of that than any other scarf I own.

The one thing I am scratching my head about is my jewelry collection. I have a lot of silver jewelry. A. LOT. Some of it is from my grandmother so – duh – I’m not giving it up. But I have so many rings and earrings I never wear. I want them to go to a good home, so I am going to have to figure out how to dispose of them. I will keep you posted!

Do you find Project 333 intriguing? Could you live with just 33 items? Comment below!