My first foray into the world of Project 333 was in autumn 2015. I felt quite anxious about attempting it but thought I’d give it a go. I selected clothes for my workwear capsule and then some for my casual wear capsule. So 2 capsules, each of 33 pieces. 66 pieces felt quite limited (!) – about a third of my overall wardrobe. I had FOMO before I even started!
I decided to do the trusty hanger trick – having all the hangers facing one way but turning them to face the other, after a piece had been worn. After the first season, I reviewed my wardrobe. I was taken aback to see how many hangers remained turned the other way.
This was one of my first light bulb moments! I hadn’t worn all 66 pieces, then! Who knew?!
So, I tried again the next season, carrying the learning from the previous season forward. Clearly, I had selected too many pieces, so I cut both capsules down to 20 pieces each. But this didn’t give me enough combinations and I got frustrated quickly. Mixing and matching is the cornerstone of the capsule wardrobe.
It was about this time that I read that Courtney Carver, founder of Project 333, was coming to London in April 2016 as part of her Tiny Wardrobe tour – so I went to hear her talk. She outlined the same dilemma – when she first started Project 333, she still worked in a corporate environment. But, her solution was to slightly dress up her casual clothes and dress down her work clothes. And – most significantly of all – nobody noticed.
So, the next season, I stuck to 33 pieces but I moved away from having two separate capsules. I was far choosier with my selection. Each piece needed to earn its place and be worn in different ways. This was the biggest step I took in realizing what my personal style was and what gaps I had in my wardrobe. You know those items called basics? Yeah, they’re called that for a reason!
This tee-shirt is a good example of a basic. It’s plain white, so goes with everything, but has a little bit of detail on the shoulders and neckline. It’s not sheer (important for work), the cotton is soft and it’s very comfortable. It looks presentable under a jacket or with a skirt/trousers. But it also looks great with jeans or a denim skirt for a more dressed down look.
I feel this jacket makes me look quite presentable at work but it also dresses up jeans and a tee-shirt. You get the idea …..
So every season, I have just the one capsule, with carefully chosen items. I never want to go back to my over-crammed wardrobe and endless choices. I feel far more content with less now. Have a great week 😊
Top image courtesy of http://www.freeimages.co.uk