For the first time in AGES, I was going, not just ‘Out’ but, #Outout! These opportunities are rare for me and I was so excited but then… “Oh my goodness, what am I going to wear??????”. Cue stress, fluster, extra deodorant, all of my clothes on the floor, dismay, sadness, frustration, more deodorant (it was a hot day) etc. etc. to end up in jeans and a plain black top, defeated.

A wardrobe of clothes with nothing to wear to dinner and drinks with friends! I know the moment I turn up, it will matter not what I am wearing but who I am with that is important. Will they think less of me for my jeans and black top combo? Nope. Will a “nicer” top/skirt/dress change my experience once I am there, probably not.

And that is the point. I wanted to spend more time enjoying the people around me rather than worrying about what I am wearing. Yes, I want to look and feel good but I don’t want to have wardrobe anxiety in the process!

Going through this outfit turmoil (~firstworldproblems!), I realised that I love winter clothing – jeans, tights, jumpers & scarves. This is my comfort-zone. With the arrival of summer comes a level of self-consciousness for me about my skin. I’m not massively keen to expose it. I can burn easily, get attacked by insects and it is “pale and interesting” as my Mum would say (i.e. luminous!). When the sun and hotter weather finally arrived in the UK, I bought out my really summer clothing, the “I’ll keep that to wear on holiday” stuff you have at the back of the wardrobe… too short, slightly too tight. Hmmmm…. time for action!!

I found the Project 333 concept through Pinterest. I have always loved the idea of a capsule wardrobe… carefully curated items to be easily and quickly styled together resulting in me looking oh so chic, darling!! So up pops Project 333 into my home feed…. I’m intrigued!

What is Project 333?

Essentially, you have a capsule wardrobe of 33 items, including jewelry and accessories for 3 months. There are some exclusions to the 33 items…

  • Sentimental jewelry you don’t take off e.g. wedding ring
  • Underwear and sleepwear
  • Loungewear for around the house – if you wear it out, then it should be counted
  • Sports/activewear (not sure what that is….) – again, if you wear it out and about for anything other than exercising, it should be counted in the 33

It recommends not buying anything new for your first capsule. As I am not currently buying any clothes, until after my self-imposed target of October 2019, this is perfect for me! The idea being you hide away your other seasons clothing and shop your wardrobe from this pile in 3 months time. Absence makes the heart grow fonder!!

I have done my research and found the lovely, Courtney Carver from Be More With Less. She has a step-by-step Micro-course; like a Project 333 for Dummies manual. She understands the psychology around retail-therapy and our nature to hold on to “stuff”. Even if my capsule wardrobe ends up not being what I want it to, the de-cluttering has been therapeutic. The process of letting go of our clothing can be a struggle but I have the end result freeing and rewarding. I also found My Green Closet, whose capsule wardrobe ethos centres around sustainability and lessening the impact on the environment of our clothing.

Why do I want to try Project 333?

  • To release myself from Wardrobe Anxiety! I don’t want to waste my energy trying on clothes that don’t fit, I don’t like and don’t suit me -and making myself unhappy in the process!
  • I definitely struggle with “decision fatigue”, especially towards to end of the week. There are too many decisions to make in life and I figured that this challenge would take the exasperation out of “what am I going to wear, today!?”.
  • Environmentally, the impact of the clothing industry is horrendous. It is the second biggest polluter after fossil fuels. Synthetic textiles are plastic; they cause micro-fibres to end up in our seas, our marine-life and, finally, our food. Keeping a small capsule wardrobe will help to reduce the impact my wardrobe contributes.
  • Putting my green pound where my mouth is. When I do get round to switching in something new, I will be either buying second-hand or championing those brands with high environmental & ethical standards.
  • Breaking the ‘fast-fashion’ habit (let’s call it what it is – over-consumption of clothing). The fashion industry must become more sustainable and, yes, this means better production methods but, ultimately, it means a reduction in production! We, as consumers, have the power to show big brands that we choose quality over quantity.
  • Saving money!
  • Learning new skills to look for the clothes I have; visible mending is something I want to have a go at!
  • (I get to write loads of lists) #listlover

Buy Less, Choose Well, Make It Last”

Vivienne Westwood

Micro-course done – what’s in my Project 333 Summer 2019 capsule wardrobe?

Over the next 3 months (11th July until 11th October), I have to plan in for the unpredictable English summer weather, a week in the Lake District and the Isle of Wight (rocking the UK stay-cations this year!) plus the beginning of autumn. Basically, most meteorological eventualities barring snow (fingers crossed)! I have selected:

  • Sunglasses (I have excluded my prescription sunglasses as an additional item as I wouldn’t include my normal glasses, logical?)
  • Necklace
  • Earrings – I only tend to wear small pearl studs
  • Grey cross-body handbag
  • Black tote bag
  • Patterned scarf
  • Silver sandals
  • White trainers
  • Black ankle boots
  • Silver loafer trainers
  • Red raincoat
  • Denim jacket*
  • Black vest top
  • Light blue vest top
  • Green t-shirt
  • Stripey sleeveless top
  • White t-shirt*

  • Long-sleeved striped top
  • Pink boat-neck top
  • Green textured jumper
  • Grey knitted jumper
  • Denim shirt
  • Denim shorts
  • Green shorts
  • Denim skirt
  • Black jeans
  • Blue jeans
  • High-waisted jeans
  • Burgundy smart joggers
  • Black smart trousers
  • Denim dress
  • Smart jersey dress
  • Lastly, no. 33 – Blue jersey sundress

*There are definitely a few pieces that need updating here! The denim jacket is quite small and the white t-shirt is now barely passable as “white”!

This is what it looks like….

Teeny tiny wardrobe! I was worried I would end up with a black/grey wardrobe but I’m pleased it has turned out so colourful. The red raincoat is a bit of a colour curve-ball but if I’m wearing it, it is usually zipped up so what’s underneath is fairly irrelevant! Plus it is cheery for a dizzily day.

I am really not sure how I will get on with just these items but seeing the final result makes me feel calm, not anxious. I want to show myself that less is truly more. Quality over quantity. Planet over profit.

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