My latest challenge was a three-month capsule wardrobe challenge called Project 333. Here’s my explanation of the challenge along with some photos of the wardrobe I planned to wear. Today I’m sharing my results and honest thoughts along the way, told in “real time” as I went through each month.
I am getting bored with wearing the same things over and over. However, I admit that I am able to get dressed effortlessly.
There is usually only one clean, weather-appropriate thing to wear at any given time. So it’s not great, but I’m not hurting, either. I literally don’t need to think about clothes.
And even though this isn’t a shopping ban, I’m not really tempted to buy or look at clothes since I’m not able to ear them for another two months.
I’ve noticed that I have unusual clothing habits. I don’t get up and shower in the morning and dress for the day like most people. Instead I tend to dress comfy, sleep in it, change to workout, shower, then put on a new comfy outfit. It means I didn’t need to include as many “cute” items in my 33 items. In fact, I swapped out some things from my original post for more causal, comfy, warm things (since it’s still winter-like here in February).
As a stay-at-home mother, there isn’t really a need for me to dress up on a regular basis. And unlike the official rules, I counted the stuff I wear around the house.
It is a nice incentive to workout because I get to wear my otherwise off-limits activewear. (And I think it’s cute. These are my only colors. The rest of my clothes are pretty much all black, white, and gray.)
I’m looking forward to the change of seasons and not needing to wear my fleece-lined leggings every. single. day.
I thought this challenge would make me feel more stylish, but that hasn’t been the case. While I chose my items carefully, I still mostly feel like a slob in the cold weather. Function over fashion. Fleece leggings, boxy wool sweaters, flannel, and an oversized hoodie are the norm. It just isn’t as chic as I thought it might be.
I do like, however, that my outfit is always an afterthought. I can add or remove layers to be the right temperature. That’s really all that matters.
The “effortless look” is pretty sweet. I could get used to that part of it.
I’m getting used to this whole capsule wardrobe thing. Trying to figure out what it will look like after this challenge is complete. I liked this article by Catherine at Be More With Less about making-under your closet. It was practical because she doesn’t require you buy anything or even get rid of anything right away. First, you simply remove those items from your closet and box them up and see if you even miss them. Easy and not scary! Doing your wardrobe this way lets you make drastic cuts without fear.
I am really enjoying the warm days that I’m able to wear the shorts I picked! Otherwise I live in leggings. I’m considering removing the jeans from my rotation since I haven’t worn them once…I’m not much of jeans person unless it’s jean shorts!
I’ll be honest, my rotation has changed a bit from the rotation I originally posted. What I thought I would wear, and what’s actually practical is a little different.
I’ll also acknowledge that a few basic sewing skills are helpful when dealing with a capsule wardrobe. I’ve had a little wear and tear on nearly all my favorite things. Nothing a few hand-sewn stitches can’t fix though.
All in all, this challenge wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. I usually wore fewer than 33 items!
I’m actually very excited to choose a capsule summer wardrobe, going forward. It will be mostly dresses and tank tops. I imagine I could get by just fine with one capsule summer wardrobe and this capsule winter wardrobe. (Less if I lived somewhere with less drastic seasonal changes.)
While the challenge is completely adaptable, the core message is simple:
1) You don’t need as many clothes as you think you do.
2) When you love everything in your closet, getting dressed is easy.
Did I feel deprived at all? Honestly, only the first month. After that I stopped thinking about it. And I did make one or two exceptions, like wear my raincoat once or twice.
I don’t think it’s about depriving myself as much as it’s about realizing I have so much. Even though I rarely buy clothing and I routinely clean out my closet, I could stand to part with a bit more.
I’ve learned a lot these past three months. Mostly about how content I am with a smaller wardrobe. The typical American wardrobe is just overwhelming with all the options and impractical pieces that perform no real function. I’m ready to cut the fluff and be content with the pieces that add functionality and fun without the clutter.
Here’s some resources if you’re interested in trimming your closet too:
Have you ever tried a capsule wardrobe? Did you stick with it long-term? What did you learn from the experience?