Project 333: Dressing with less

Got an interest in minimalist fashion? Project 333 is a project designed by Courtney Carver, of the blog Be More with Less. The basic equation is 33 items of clothing + 3 months of your life.

I started participating in Project 333 when I was a master’s student, and I wondered how 33 items of clothing would carry me between clinical fieldwork, classes, daily life, exercise, and the occasional fancy event (admittedly, I don’t go to all that many fancy events. But when I do, I don’t usually attend in the buff, so I needed something appropriate to wear in the event that I was invited to a black tie masqued ball. Or a legislative breakfast. The latter actually happened, but more on that later).

It turned out that 33 items of clothing (shoes included!) was plenty to last me three months. I found that life was simpler, getting dressed was quicker, and my urge to buy crap I didn’t need was dramatically curtailed. Project 333 was fun, nobody made fun of me for wearing the same 33 items of clothing for 3 months (or even noticed), and I would do it again in a heartbeat (and have, several times). Here are a few of my musings (and wardrobes) for project 333:

minimalist closetHere’s how I got started with Project 333, and selected my first 33 items (for winter and early spring).

Here’s some thoughts on Project 333 and laundry day, (and on how what we wear intersects with feminism).

My post on Project 332? is about what happens when you have to replace one of your items during the project (to be more specific – it’s about what I did when my purse FELL APART in the middle of Project 333. My only purse! And I’d like to mention that several years later, I’m STILL carrying that replacement purse every single day. Love that bag. It’s like the opposite of an impulse buy: well and sustainably made, and much loved and well used. Project 333 definitely changed the way I shop).

Here’s what I learned from my first experience with Project 333, written at the end of those first 3 months.

Here’s a summer wardrobe for Project 333, from my second go-round with the project.

project 333 summer 2012

A fall wardrobe:

Project 333 fall

A late winter/early spring wardrobe:

Project 333 late fall-early winter

And my most recent group of 33 items, for this upcoming fall:

Project 333 fall 2014

As you can see, some items repeat, some get switched out over the years, and I usually have some sort of color scheme in mind to ensure that things are easy to coordinate. I also wear a lot of basics, with a few more colorful printed pieces thrown into the mix. Some of the items in the sets are the actual ones I own, and others are reasonable likenesses, as much of my stuff comes from thrift stores and clothing swaps, so it’s hard to find their exact images online.

If you’re thinking about spending 3 months wearing 33 items of your own, I HIGHLY recommend it. And to this I add: have fun with it! One of the main beauties of simplifying one’s life is that living it becomes more of a pleasure.


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