clothing, how much is enough?, organization, Project 333

Project 333: Spring 2014

Have you heard of Project 333? I first read about it on Janet’s blog. I’m always inspired by her sense of style and commitment to having just enough.

My husband and I live in a teensy tiny condo with very little storage. By “very little storage” I mean “we share a closet.”

And I’m not talking about a walk-in, people. We share this:

shared closet

Yikes, right? Thank goodness we have our own dressers!

Needless to say, I’m in a constant struggle not to have too much clothing.

When I first started teaching, I didn’t have much of a work wardrobe. I had lots of tee shirts and jeans that I wore to class in college and several cute dresses that I wore for nice occasions but weren’t really practical for teaching.

I think I over-bought to fill the void, and I over-bought too quickly because it was the first time I truly felt like I had nothing to wear. And to make matters worse, I was a teacher and not making much money, so I over-bought inexpensive, low-quality items that didn’t hold up or fit quite right. I’ve gotten better at finding inexpensive, high-quality items and getting great deals on more expensive stuff, but I had accumulated junk in the meantime.

So I’ve committed to cutting the junk and focusing on having fewer, better items.

Project 333 seems like the next logical step in figuring out how much is enough. I’ve gotten to the point that all of my clothing fits in the limited storage space I have, but I’m curious if I really need to be filling this space.

I’ve been reading the rules of Project 333, and they make me a little nervous. I have a few weddings to attend in the next three months, not to mention high school spring events like awards ceremonies and graduation, and I hate putting a dress on a list of only 33 items if I’m only going to wear it once or twice.

I know, I know. It’s like I’m missing the point.

But I also keep reading that Project 333 is not a project in suffering, and that you can create your own version that works better for you. For my first attempt, I’ve decided to do just that.

My Version

My 33 items include clothing only, not shoes or accessories. I’m not counting those in my list of 33. (Confession: I am a scarf hoarder.) Trying to narrow everything down to 33 items total became stressful pretty quickly, and I want this project to contribute to my happiness, not my stress.

I’m curious about how many of my accessories I actually wear and which ones I’m holding on to just in case, so I will be keeping track of which accessories I wear over the next three months. I thought about writing them down, but I think a more realistic option is to take a quick picture each day and then scroll through them at the end. I’ll group the items I wore and assess what I didn’t.

As far as shoes are concerned, I have five pairs that I know will probably be the only pairs I wear for the next three months.

I’m nervous about if I forgot anything, so I’m going to allow myself to rotate an item in if I need to, but only if it’s truly necessary and only if I rotate an item out, keeping my total at 33.

My List

4 pairs of pants: mint jeans, blue jeans, khaki jeans, white jeans


2 skirts: hot pink and navy print


2 nice dresses: dove grey and mint


6 casual dresses: 1 chambray + 5 jersey in navy, grey, black, red, and purple

casual dresses

8 tops: white button-down, blue button-down, chambray button-down, red print tunic, blue print tunic, chambray tunic, white eyelet, cream eyelet


4 tees: white striped,Β navy long-sleeved, navy striped, white short-sleeved


2 tanks: striped and floral


4 light sweaters: 1 mint + 3 cardigans in pink, coral, and navy striped


1 pair of khaki shorts

khaki shorts

Well, there’s my list! I’m excited to see how this pared-down wardrobe serves me over the next three months. Have you tried Project 333? Any advice for newcomers? You can even tell me what rules you break! ; )

23 thoughts on “Project 333: Spring 2014

  1. Hi Lauren, these look like great pieces that you can mix and match for 3 months. I am experimenting with Project 333 too – this is my 2nd season. I still haven’t been able to include shoes, tshirts, and purses in my count. But maybe I’ll get there one day. Good luck with this season!

  2. Thank goidness!!! I’m doing the same thing… Not including shoes, jewelry, or accessories. I am scarf obsessed too, and the accessories are what make things fun! So I have 33 items of clothing as a uniform too. Good luck!

    1. Agreed–I think the accessories will keep me from feeling like I’m wearing the same exact thing over and over. Good luck to you, too!

  3. Looks like you’re off to a great start! This is my first month as well and I saw the blog link on the fb page. I am cheating by counting all jewelry as one item. πŸ™‚ I had pared down some even prior to starting Project 333, as I got tired of the cramped closet (my husband and I share one 1960’s closet that is just about 3.5 feet wide). Good luck to you!

    1. Thanks! Good luck to you, too! I feel your pain about a cramped, shared closet–perfect reason to pare down, isn’t it?

  4. I did ot take the time to put some photos, but I am also doing this project for the next 3 months! It was clearly complicated to make the short list. So as you I did not count my jewels nor my scarfs but shoes (4) and coats (2)!You seem to be living in a warmer place than me…

  5. I am doing P333 with similar exceptions – I haven’t included my shoes, jewelry or purses. I have gotten much closer to 33 items this season, although I haven’t done an exact count. It looks like you have chosen some really fun pieces – lots of color and pattern – but they should remix really well. I love dresses too, but I only have a few in my wardrobe this season. It’s not quite warm enough and I’m spending a lot of time at home lately, wearing sweatpants – ugh! Good luck. Isn’t it funny how much anxiety this brings out at first? πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks! I’ve been counting down to dress and sandal season–hoping I get to wear them a lot. It is funny how much anxiety it brings out at first and how quickly it becomes anxiety-free! Good luck to you, too!

  6. Some advice for your “event” dress(es)? I had an event a few years ago that i needed a dress for (graduation). I’ve never totally bought into the whole “LBD” concept until that event. I bought a black sheath dress and then paired it with different cardigans for different occasions. PERFECT! I could wear a denim jacket or vest with it for a more casual look, something a bit fancier for the graduation, I loved this idea so much that when the dress became too big I’ve searched high and low to find another. The dress doesn’t have to be an LBD but a similar, solid color classic dress can be changed up with scarves, jewelry and cardigans/vests. Even a button down can be worn over it for a more casual feel. You can invest $$ into the dress because you’ll end up with so many opportunities to wear it.

    1. Ooh, I love that idea! You’re right–investing in good basics makes so much sense, and they’re easy to change up with different accessories. Thanks for sharing this! : )

  7. I LOVE your stiped tees and striped cardigan! Can you tell the brand and where you got them?
    Congrats on doing P333, you have great wardrobe choices!

    1. Thanks so much! The striped tees are both Boden (love, love, LOVE everything they make!). I got the cardigan at TJ Maxx a year or so ago, and the brand is tea n rose. : )

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