How to Create a ‘Capsule Wardrobe’ (With Help From TikTok)

How to Create a ‘Capsule Wardrobe’ (With Help From TikTok)

If you have a ton of clothes, you may occasionally contemplate downsizing to create a “capsule wardrobe,” comprised of basic pieces—like cardigans, plain shirts, and jeans—that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits. But actually doing it is a lot harder than imagining what it might be like to have a pared-down closet. What if you get rid of an item that would be just perfect for some future outfit? What if you then have to go buy a new one to replace it?

That’s where Project 333 comes in. This technique can help you figure out what really belongs in your collection, without forcing you to give anything up right off the bat.

What is Project 333?

Project 333 comes from Courtney Carver, who published Project 333: The Minimalist Fashion Challenge That Proves Less Really Is So Much More in 2020. Since then, the idea has blown up across social media, and particularly on TikTok, where users employ it to scale down their closets, to impressive effect.  

The general idea behind Project 33 is that you need far fewer articles of clothing than you think you do, and should be able to create plenty of appropriate outfits with just 33 different pieces.

How does Project 333 work?

When you start a round of Project 333, you set aside 33 pieces of clothing and box everything else up, removing it from your closets and drawers. The 33 pieces you choose to keep don’t include underwear or sentimental, everyday-wear jewelry; instead, they’re pants, sweaters, shirts, dresses, statement jewelry items, and similar.

Everything you don’t select for this round gets put somewhere else, like in storage, an attic, or a cabinet far from your wardrobe. Then, you only wear outfits mixed and matched from those 33 pieces, and you aim to do this for three whole months. 

When the three months are over, you can return to the boxed-up articles and look at them them with new eyes. Did you end up needing anything in there? Was there an article of clothing you were particularly itching to get back to? Anything you found you could easily do without, you can simply consider donating it or tossing it out. You already proved you don’t actually need it to create great outfits. 

Project 333 doesn’t need to be all or nothing

Project 333 can work in cycles. You don’t have to toss or donate everything after you do it one time. It’s fine to get rid of just a few things, then try again with another 33 pieces for another three months, or work seasonally. In the end, your goal is to create a capsule wardrobe full of staples that you can consistently wear and use, but refining your overloaded closet to that degree can take time.

How to get started

As you set off on your streamlining journey, choose versatile items that can be worn multiple ways and times, like cardigan and undershirt combinations, utilitarian jeans, and no-frills dresses that can work with a variety of outerwear. In general, these mix-and-match pieces have more long-term value and deserve more space in your closet than the finicky things that you can only wear at certain times and in certain pairings.

The nice thing about Project 333 is that it can allow you to leave room for some of those froofier things—but you’ll also have opportunity to reflect on which ones you really like (and missed) while they were boxed away. 

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