Is a Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe Easy? 5 Lessons From Project 333
I thought I could never do it. Fear caused me to procrastinate trying because I didn’t think I would ever survive. I was afraid I would lose myself in the process.
Now I’m halfway through the three-month minimalist fashion challenge known as Project 333 and I have already learned a lot!
Is having a minimalist capsule wardrobe easy? Do you want to dress like a minimalist?
Let me share with you some of the things I’ve learned from working with less clothing during Project 333.
A Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe Doesn’t Mean Having Less Variety
I have to be honest with you, I was terrified that Project 333 would cramp my style. I am not your typical minimalist.
My (almost) minimalist closet has always included a LOT of color and variety. It has also had to serve the many hats I wear throughout the week including online teacher, church-goer, cleaning lady, and normal person.
I was excited to start Project 333 but I was afraid having a minimalist capsule wardrobe would feel like a style diet. To my pleasant surprise, it has not felt like that at all!
In fact, I’ve been stunned at how 33 clothing items actually feels like an abundance. Because I created my minimalist capsule wardrobe with my favorite clothes I haven’t felt too restricted.
For example, I didn’t make it through every piece in my Project 333 wardrobe till day 25! I didn’t even duplicate any one outfit until day 31 and that was just cause I wasn’t in the mood to be creative.
I still have tons of outfit combinations I can try.
Absolutely no one has asked me why I’m wearing the same pieces so much. I don’t feel like I’m not stylish. In fact, I don’t feel bored at all and I’m already half-way through the challenge!
If you are worried that Project 333 will cramp your style don’t be! You will be surprised at how much variety can be found within 33 items of clothing. I didn’t even use a lot of neutral pieces other than black and gray. I used pinks, burgundy, teal, and green, but I’m still finding it super easy to mix and match.
Have a Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe During Project 333 Doesn’t Mean More Laundry
One concern I’ve heard others express about Project 333 is that they will have to do laundry too often. I wasn’t worried about that because I always do all my laundry on the same day each week and I figured that would be more than sufficient.
So how has it gone? I have not had any problem with laundry. In fact, since my workout clothes (which I wear for work and exercise) don’t count, the clothes in my Project 333 capsule wardrobe are mostly nicer clothes that can get a couple of wears.
I only included 3 pairs of pants but each pair can easily be worn at least twice. My tops are sometimes only good for one wear but there are enough of them that I never feel worried that I will run out before laundry day.
Unless you have a very dirty job Project 333 should not cause you to do laundry more often than you already do. If you do have a very dirty job then count the days you work and the clothes you need for them as just one piece in your Project 333. Courtney Carver says you can do that with “uniforms”.
Having a Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe During Project 333 Has Meant Less Stress & More Time
So how is having less clothing during Project 333 been affecting my life so far? In one sense it doesn’t feel like it has changed it very much. That’s because it has been surprisingly easy. But that easiness has been amazing.
It’s funny, you don’t think you are taking a lot of mental power to get dressed in the morning but you really are. Since doing Project 333 I have found that I don’t dread choosing what I will wear. I just think of my capsule wardrobe and instantly know what I want to put on before I even walk in my closet. That’s not to say it’s boring. There are plenty of combinations I could make with my capsule wardrobe and that gives me just enough creative license to keep it interesting.
I have also found that having less clothing during Project 333 has really opened up a lot of time in my mornings. I can’t explain it. My closet was pretty simple anyway but having only 33 items to choose from must save me time somehow because since I started Project 333 I have had more time to play my violin in the morning and I have even incorporated a mini Ab workout in my morning routine!
How Have My Unique Circumstances Affected Project 333?
When I first heard of Project 333 I thought: “Well sure, if you work in an office every day that’s fine. But it won’t work for my life.”
I think we all have some version of that argument in our head the first time we hear about Project 333. But here’s what I’ve learned from having less clothing during Project 333 so far. I have learned that my unique circumstances work both ways. Some of them make Project 333 easier and some of them make it harder. Let me give you a couple of examples.
My Challenges and Advantages:
I have to dress up for my online teaching and church meetings. This was the biggest thing I worried about when starting Project 333. Having to include dresses and skirts did indeed limit my casual wear somewhat. On the other hand, because all of my teaching and church meetings are on Zoom, I don’t need very many shoes. For that reason, I’ve pretty much been using my red flats, my black tennis shoes, and my slippers (I didn’t count my slippers) for the last month and a half without anyone noticing or caring.
My other unique circumstance is that I only work outside of the house 9-12 hours a week. I clean houses and I wear exercise clothes when I do it. I also usually take a walk or do a workout while I’m dressed in those clothes. Since Courtney Carver said that you don’t have to use your workout clothes as long as you work out in them I didn’t count my work/workout clothes at all. That obviously makes Project 333 easier for me. The hard part? I have to make a concerted effort to put “real clothes” on when I’m not working or working out because let’s face it, it’s easy to stay in them.
What about your unique circumstances?
How will your unique circumstances make it easier or harder to do Project 333 or just have a minimalist capsule wardrobe? Some of the challenges I expected haven’t been a problem and others have crept up. I can tell you right now, the only way to find out how Project 333 will work with your unique circumstances is to try it!
What Do I Find Difficult About Project 333?
Wearing a minimalist capsule wardrobe during Project 333 has been overwhelmingly easier than I expected. I have really enjoyed the lightness of fewer choices and the creativity of making 33 pieces work in new ways. But it’s not all sunshine and roses. I wanted to bring you along with me on my journey so that I could share my experience with you honesty.
What has been hard for me, will probably be hard for anyone. That is knowing exactly what you really should include. And being practical about it. Here is my confession:
I really really wish I hadn’t included the black-heeled booties because all my fancy stuff is still on Zoom and those stinking boots make me sound like a dinosaur when I walk on the wood floors in my house. As a consequence, I haven’t worn them and probably won’t wear them the entire time. This is obviously directly related to the pandemic. Shoes like that would be great if I ever went on a date night or had to do some of my teaching work in person!
Instead of the boots, I wish I had included another coat. In fact, we have had an unusually warm winter so my puffer jacket has been a bit much some days. I have to admit to sneaking out a hoodie for workdays. Maybe that’s ok since I’m not wearing the dino-boots!
I also included a couple of pieces in my minimalist capsule wardrobe that I love the look of but don’t love the feel of. That was probably a dumb move but I guess it will help me finally let go of them at the end of the challenge!
As for jewelry…
The only other thing that has been a bit of a bummer for me is only having 3 jewelry sets. Since I make jewelry, I obviously love it, and being restricted to 3 jewelry choices has been the only thing that has actually bummed me out. I can say right now that I will probably not count my jewelry when I do Project 333 again.
Having a Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe During Project 333 Has Taught Me A Lot and I Want to Learn More!
As you see, halfway through my journey, I am very happy I tried it! Would I do it again? I am definitely considering making Project 333, or some form of it, a regular part of my life going forward.
Pairing down my wardrobe has been one of the hardest things about the minimalist lifestyle for me. But this challenge felt like just what I needed!
Trying Project 333 has taught me a lot about making practical choices when building a minimalist capsule wardrobe. I have also learned about my personal style. But I’m only halfway through!
Going into the next half of the challenge I want to take more pictures of my outfits because I totally failed at that (sorry guys). I want to do that so I nail down what is flattering and what is not and learn more about my personal style.
During the second half of my challenge, I also want to include more creative outfits! I did all the basic outfits, now I want to see how creative I can be.
Do You Want to Try Project 333?
Do you want to try Project 333? It’s never too late to start! You can find out how having less clothing during Project 333 can change your life! Go read the post I wrote about starting Project 333 so that you know how to prepare and join me.
Do you want to try this minimalist fashion challenge? What do you think would be easy or hard about it? Please share in the comments below!
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