My Winter Capsule Wardrobe

I’d heard a lot about capsule wardrobes on Pinterest and always liked the idea in theory. I mused that it might be interesting to try “someday” when I was in the right mood or had the right mindset. Then I watched Minimalism - a recently released documentary on the topic of minimalist living. The filmmakers interviewed a number of famously minimalistic folks, one of whom was Courtney Carver - creator of Project 333. Project 333 is based on a simple, but powerful concept: that you can exist for three months with only 33 articles of clothing (including outerwear, accessories, and shoes). Her website - Be More With Less - is so inspirational but also so matter of fact. She makes Project 333 feel possible. So I decided to try it myself with a winter capsule wardrobe.

Here’s the thing I’ll start with. I have A LOT of clothes. Just to give you a sense of what I mean by a lot, I’m talking about 20+ dresses, upwards of 50 tops (t-shirts, sweaters, blouses, etc.), at least 20 cardigans, 14 pairs of pants… the list goes on. This may seem like not such a huge wardrobe by some people’s standards, but I’ve been feeling pretty weighed down by it for awhile; wanting to purge but having difficulty getting rid of things that I might wear later or that I have positive memories of myself wearing. The thing is, a lot of those aforementioned clothes don’t fit me well, aren’t my style any more, or even *gasp* have holes in them. Needless to say it’s time to whittle some things away.

Paring down to my capsule wardrobe was surprisingly easy for me. In fact, if you’re anything like me, you probably cycle through the same four or five pairs of pants, the same 10 tops, etc. even if you have many more options. So settling on the clothes for my own winter capsule wardrobe wasn’t too challenging. When all was said and done, I was left with the following clothes:

  1. Skinny jeans
  2. Red corduroy pants
  3. Black skinny pants
  4. Maroon corduroy pants
  5. Black leggings
  6. Blue and white button-down shirt
  7. White linen blouse
  8. Black ¾ length sleeved blouse
  9. Striped ¾ length sleeved t-shirt
  10. Beige sweater
  11. Cream cat sweater
  12. Striped long-sleeved shirt
  13. Purple ¾ length sleeved shirt
  14. Navy long sleeved shirt
  15. Blue t-shirt
  16. Pink t-shirt
  17. Black t-shirt
  18. Purple t-shirt
  19. Gray t-shirt
  20. Black dress
  21. Flowered dress
  22. Black cardigan
  23. Grey cardigan
  24. Grey sweatshirt
  25. Orange and blue flannel shirt  
  26. Black fleece jacket
  27. Pink rain jacket
  28. Winter coat
  29. Purple scarf
  30. Brown ankle boots
  31. Black flats
  32. Brown flats
  33. Flowered Keds

That’s it. To get me through the entire winter. From today (the winter solstice) through March 21 - the first day of spring. And the thing is, I’m excited! I’m excited to see if I can pull this off. Yes, it will mean more frequent laundry and theoretically less options, but it will also mean more freedom from the confines of my material belongings, which is really the whole point of living a more minimalist lifestyle for me - to feel more free to do the things I want to do by being less trapped by stuff.

You may be wondering what I’m doing with all of the rest of my clothes. For now, I’m boxing them up and storing them in a closet. I’m putting them aside to allow myself some space to see if this works for me. I have a feeling that it will. And then? As I mentioned in my post about playing the Minimalism Game using the KonMari Method, I’m going to be actively getting rid of belongings in the new year, starting with clothes. I’m excited to let go. For now though, I challenge you to start your own Project 333. Can you pare down your wardrobe to just 33 items? I believe you can. Here’s to a liberating three months to come!  

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