I’m coming to the end of a full year of Project 333 and have found it very easy. Here are my tips if you want to try it out.
- Give yourself a chance to trial it before agreeing on the full three months
If you’re feeling apprehensive, or are not sure if it’s not for you, why not try it for a month, or even a couple of weeks? I find that a trial period gives me the confidence to make mistakes, without making me feel like “I can’t do this, I give up”.
- Don’t feel bad about switching clothes in and out
Depending which country you’re in and what season it is, weather can be very tricky. For most of this year, I’ve allocated myself a row for one outdoor coat, but I switch between my lighter and heavier coat, depending on the weather. In the UK, we can have warm sunshine for a few days, followed by a temperature drop and pouring rain, so if I had to commit to one coat for three months, I’d never manage. Equally, since I only ever want one coat, why keep them all on my list?
- Try the clothes that you don’t normally wear and see how you get on with them
I had tops that I kept to one side for going out, or weekend wear, but wouldn’t consider for work. When my wardrobe reduced, I started wearing them for work and they were absolutely fine. Bonus: I get to wear them much more often.
- If there are clothes that you never wear, do you still need them?
Why do you never wear them?
I’ve moved evening and formal wear into a separate capsule. I might only go to a wedding once a year, but when I do, I need an appropriate outfit, so I keep it to one side. In fact, I only have one appropriate outfit, so once I’ve worn that to all wedding combinations (my family/his family/my friends/his friends/my work/his work), I’ll sell it on eBay and get something else.
If you don’t wear them because they fit funny, or wrinkle easily, or show up sweat, or need a zip to be replaced, just accept that you’ll never wear them and get rid.
If you don’t wear them because you don’t feel like you look your best in them, it doesn’t matter how much you love an item itself, it has to go. With a capsule wardrobe, there’s no place for something you don’t feel great in.
- Take some time before you identify gaps and buy items to fill them
When I started Project 333 a year ago, I was convinced that I needed some jeans and a white cardigan. The more I got used to my capsule, even without these “essential” items, the more I realised I could get on fine without them. On the other hand, I don’t have enough comfortable trousers and am on the look-out for a new pair.
- Modify it for you
Particularly in the winter, I have several scarves, hats and pairs of gloves that I alternate. If I’d added them all to my list, I’d have had very few actual clothes in my 333 for that season. So I made a decision not to count winter accessories, and the world hasn’t collapsed because of it. If you find yourself adapting the rules so that you can keep 60 items per season, maybe you need a rethink. But if you love earrings for example, and can’t consider wearing the same pair every day, don’t let that stop you from trying Project 333.