I (Shannon) start each new season with a clean slate when it comes to my wardrobe. If you’ve been a follower of our blog, you know that my minimalist wardrobe is a far cry from the days in which our spare bedroom was converted into my closet, and I had a catalog to keep up with my shoe collection. People change, folks, and you can too. 😉
A favorite minimalist wardrobe system of mine is Project 333. This idea is the concept of Courtney Carver and promises that not only can you survive with just 33 items in your closet for 3 months, but you’ll feel amazing about your accomplishment, and less stressed about the time it takes to decide what to wear.
Let’s get to the minimalist wardrobe challenge
For me, I start each new season with an inventory of my closet. I move the current seasonal clothing to the front center since I’ll be wearing those more, and move the past season, to the back. As I am moving things around, I ask myself a few questions:
- Did I wear this item last season?
- Does this item still fit?
- Is this item damaged, and if so, can it be repaired?
- Does this item bring me joy?
Answering those questions, allows me to then compile a group that I can sell on Poshmark, donate to someone/organization, or take to a textile recycler, if possible. The rest, of course, I keep.
Why the Project 333 system is great
Moving on with the Project 333 system. With Carver’s system, I make sure I only have 33 items, per season, including shoes, accessories, and outerwear. The really great part for me is that I don’t live in a super cold environment, so I can layer using cardigans and tanks/camisoles that I have in my summer wardrobe capsule (pretty sure that is cheating the OG Project 333 system, but it works for me). The Project 333 system says that you should pack the other seasons away, so you only rely on the 33 items that you have remaining in your closet. I like to borrow from other seasons to be more resourceful and have a smidge more variety, getting more use out of all of my items. Shhh… we don’t have to tell Courtney.
This system allows me to have more versatile items that serve as staples. Black is a great staple, that you can accessorize with color, really well! Also advantageous, the system allows me to make better purchases if/when I need something. If I see that I need a new pair of pants, I make sure that I can wear the pants with a variety of outfits, that I find them comfortable and appropriate for work and play, and that I absolutely love them. I don’t mind paying a bit more money for a quality item, if it checks those boxes, and will last. I guarantee you, over time, you will save money, rather than buying the cheapest made items, over and over again. You’ll also be doing your part to help conservation efforts.
Make things last- do repairs
Speaking of making things last and conservation, I took a few dresses that I love to a tailor when I recently lost some weight, and when my favorite Tory Burch flats became too worn on the soles. Well, I had them re-soled so they could get more miles out of them. I heard Warren Buffett never buys new shoes; he always has them resoled. I mean, if Warren Buffett practices this, then, by all means, it’s probably a good move! Bonus, by repairing items, you are keeping items out of the landfill- again, conservation and a major reduction in waste.
So, how do I prevent myself from wearing the same outfit over and over again? I have an app for that! There are tons of apps on the market to organize your closet, but I use Your Closet. The app allows you to take photos of every clothing item you have and can organize it by type, season, and color, however you want. Then, there is a built-in calendar that allows you to post the items you wore each day. Voila! You never have to run into the time-consuming process of wondering if you just wore an outfit, AND once you get a month in, you can start the process over and just choose your outfits from the previous month, without thinking a second thought.
Fun fact: when I was in middle and high school, I had a handmade calendar inside of my closet, and wrote down what I wore each day. We didn’t have tons of clothing options, so I become resourceful with mixing and matching my items so it appeared I had a really large wardrobe. I am happy to say that practice prepared me for my adult, minimalist lifestyle that I so enjoy now.
I hope you will use this time, as the weather and leaves change, to take inventory of your closet as you move your autumn seasonal clothing to the forefront. You don’t have to follow a certain system/challenge, but if you take baby steps in the decluttering process, you may find it as rewarding and cleansing as we do. If you are interested in the specifics of the Project 333 capsule wardrobe, you can download a free quick-start guide here, and receive weekly updates on how to simplify your life. Let us know if you have other minimalist wardrobe tips and tricks!