Project 333: Fall

October 1 marked an exciting milestone: My four year anniversary participating in Project 333.

For those not familiar with it, Project 333 is 33 items of clothing for 3 months. It’s more about the lessons than the rules, so some people include only include clothes, while others add shoes, jewelry and accessories. The point is to see what it feels like to live with less. That can be uncomfortable at first.

I had no idea what I was doing that first time, so I picked a wardrobe for the calendar — October 1 through December 31 — filled with all cold weather items. I’ve lived in Oregon since I was 9, so I really had no excuses for making that particular mistake. I know October here is better than June.

Step 1: Everything goes into one hugely overwhelming pile. Favorites go back in the closet first, then fill in the holes.

Step 1: Everything goes into one hugely overwhelming pile. Step 2: Favorites go back in the closet first, then fill in the holes. 

Which is exactly what happened.

I tried to stick it out at first, but I was just too dang hot in my sweaters and long sleeves. I decided to go month by month — it was my first time! I was learning! (I am the queen of justification) — and that was actually a really good call on my part because it gave me confidence. I knew if something didn’t work, I could swap it for something that would.

And look at me now. I had 29 items in my summer capsule, including shoes. I never thought that was possible in the early days.

For me, fall and spring are the hardest seasons for P333, just because the weather is so unpredictable in the Pacific Northwest. But I also think that’s what makes it fun. It’s good to be challenged every now and again. Plus, having lived with the benefits of a small wardrobe for so long, I can’t actually imagine not. It just makes my life so much easier.

I am all about easier.

It’s also fun because I have fall and winter items that only come out in the fall and winter (imagine that). It’s nice to see old friends.

Items in my wardrobe are as follows:

That's better.

That’s better.

Shoes: 4 (boots, ankle boots, maryjanes and loafers, all black)

Scarves: 4 (orange floral, blue/black stripe, black, grey)

Dresses: 3 (black tunic, black/green t-shirt dress, navy girly dress)

Skirts: 4 (grey, black/beige, black/blue and beige/brown/black/teal)

Pants/leggings: 6 (black and beige slacks, black and denim jeans, 2 pairs leggings*)

Shirts: 4 (grey tank, black tee, grey long sleeved, and beige/orange peasant)

Sweaters/sweatshirt: 8 (grey, black and blue cardigans; blue, black and grey/black stripe turtlenecks; burgundy, navy sweatshirt)

Jackets: 4 (beige, white corduroy, denim, winter coat)

… and my messenger bag

For those keeping track, that’s 38 items. I don’t count PJs, tights or my tennis shoes (which only get worn when I take walks because I’m not a fan of that style in general).

While I won’t be adding to this wardrobe, I will be subtracting: When the weather gets really cold, there won’t be any need to have a tank top or short sleeved t-shirt in the closet. And I have a feeling I’ve got too many jackets. One of my leggings is a spider web print for Halloween, so they will get worn this month and then retired. (A stupid purchase last year, but kind of fun.) If the weather swings back into the 70ºs and 80ºs again, I can wear skirts without tights or leggings.

And this wardrobe will get me to my job at the paper, dress up occasions (we’ve gone to a lot of weddings this year) and just hanging out on the weekend. I’ve heard that we’re not as formal on the west coast as they are on the east, so that might help. 😉

So that’s that. Anyone else a P333-er? Any tips or experiences to share with the group?

You can read about my summer Project 333 wardrobe HERE.

*While I think it’s perfectly acceptable that other people see leggings as pants, I am 44 years old and do not believe anyone needs to see me do that. Therefore, leggings go under my dresses and skirts.

Next up: I’m getting so bold about being a zero waster, you guys.

8 Responses to Project 333: Fall

    • I am from Germany, but the next Unverpackt-Laden still is far away from where I live … what a pity.
      I would love to try 333, but haven’t yet found a solution to one problem: I live alone, and with only 33 items in my wardrobe, I would never be able to assemble a full load of washing, especially in the summer … winter items fill up the washing machine much quicker. And I don’t want to waste energy by starting the machine to wash 3 T-Shirts.
      I had a very minimalistc phase in my teens (looong long ago …) and even then, washing for 3 people, my mother hated that I constantly ran out of clean clothing because I had so little, which put pressure on her washing schedule. I sure had a 33 items wardrobe then.
      But no 333 for me now, but I do try not to have too much clothing, only have clothing that mixes and matches well and that I really like, and use my things a long time.

      • You know, gepee, you bring up an interesting point — and I think it’s awesome that people just gravitate towards living with less and don’t need an incentive. 🙂

  1. I keep looking at Project 333, but haven’t taken the leap yet. However, this summer we traveled with only a carry-on for a five week trip, and loved it! Keep it up, I don’t have that much in my closet (compared to my husband, for example), but I need to be a little more organized with outfits. Thanks for the push.

    • Traveling with less is definitely a plus. Oh, and my husband also has way more clothing than I do. It makes me laugh.

  2. I always feel like I’m missing some integral “woman” gene when I read about Project 333. I just don’t have enough clothing to make up 33 items! I tried it once in case I was deluding myself about my clothing habits but even including shoes and jewellery I only reached 19 items in the three month period. I seem to be out of sync with the rest of my sex!

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