The End Game of Project 333 and Capsule Wardrobes

Back in September, I attended the San Diego session of Courtney Carver’s “Tiny Wardrobe Tour.”  As I mentioned in my post the following day, knowing that I’d be attending this talk motivated me to create a hypothetical summer Project 333 capsule wardrobe (which I later decided to dress with for the month of October).  At that time, I promised to share some of the insights I gained from the Tiny Wardrobe Tour presentation, but I haven’t been able to do so until now…

project 333 tiny wardrobe tour

Courtney Carver’s “Tiny Wardrobe Tour” – September 2016, San Diego

A lot of thoughts came up for me during Courtney’s talk and I found myself on the verge of tears several times.  I started capturing my thoughts shortly after the event, but I was unable to finish the post for some reason. I came back to it a couple of times, but ended up leaving it unfinished again.  It wasn’t until this week that I was able to complete it to my satisfaction and share my musings here. Sometimes we need to sit with something for a while, and perhaps what’s happened in my life over the ensuing months has helped to crystalize the lessons in my mind.

Continue reading

Revisiting Project 333 and the “Love It, Wear It” Wardrobe Challenge

At the end of September, prior to attending Courtney Carver’s “Tiny Wardrobe Tour,” I decided to put together a hypothetical Project 333 summer capsule.  I wrote a blog post about this and concluded that it would be useful to try out that capsule during October, as warm weather where I live usually continues until at least early November and sometimes longer (our cool weather started just a week ago!).

I reasoned that if nothing else, I’d learn some useful things about myself and my wardrobe through doing a short version of Project 333 (even if not the full three months that it’s intended to be).  In today’s post, I share my thoughts on that experience, as well as about how I’m revisiting the “Love it, Wear it” Challenge (LIWI) that I did during the full year of 2015.

Project 333 Capsule Wardrobe

Have you ever done a capsule wardrobe challenge? 

Continue reading

Hypothetical Summer 2016 Project 333 Capsule Wardrobe

Last night, my husband and I attended Courtney Carver’s “Tiny Wardrobe Tour.”  It was wonderful to finally meet Courtney (after having known her online for over four years) and to hear her speak and answer questions about fashion challenge Project 333.   Those who have been following my journey since the beginning may remember that Courtney challenged me to do Project 333 back in 2013.  Despite my fear and trepidation, I accepted her dare, blogged weekly about my experiences (beginning here, but you can read all of my Project 333 posts HERE), and reaped many benefits from taking on dressing with less for three months (I later took on the challenge a second time).

Courtney Carver and Debbie Roes

It was wonderful to finally meet Courtney Carver, the creator of Project 333. 

I will share some thoughts about and follow-on actions from Courtney’s talk in a future post, but today I want to focus on what I did prior to attending the presentation.  Anticipating what she would be talking about – “the hows and whys of starting Project 333 to bring more simplicity, love, and joy into your life,” I got to thinking about my experiences with the challenge back in 2013 and 2014 and how easy or difficult it might be for me to dress with just 33 items today. On a whim, I decided to draft a hypothetical Project 333 list for the summer season that will be drawing to a close soon (where I live, we experience hot weather through at least October). In today’s post, I highlight which items I selected and some insights I gained through doing the exercise.

Continue reading

How I Found Closet Serenity (a.k.a. My Project 333 Experiment)

The following is a guest post from Sybil, a longtime reader of this blog.   After retiring at 60, Sybil transitioned to a self-employed consulting role, no longer going into an office every day.  That change opened her up to addressing her problem of over-shopping and she embarked on a Project 333 challenge – and she learned a lot! 

If you would like to be profiled in an upcoming installment of the “Stories of Recoveryseries (you can be anonymous if desired), please connect with me to share your thoughts.


Early in 2016, I decided to challenge myself with a modified Project 333 exercise – selecting 33 items of clothing and wearing only those pieces (accessories not included in count) for three months.  Those who know me well laughed at my plan.  I’m not exactly known for setting limits on myself.  But, remarkably, not only did I succeed, I reached a turning point in managing my wardrobe.  And, most surprising, the emotional payoff was significant.

Sybil's Project 333 Capsule Wardrobe

This was Sybil’s Project 333 capsule wardrobe earlier this year. 

Continue reading

Useful Links on Capsule Wardrobes

Capsule wardrobes have been a big topic of discussion on many blogs recently.  In addition, the fall season of minimalist fashion challenge Project 333 kicks off on October 1st.  So I thought this might be a good time to share some useful links on this timely and popular subject.

capsule wardrobe

Have you ever dressed with a capsule wardrobe? This was my first one. 

If you are contemplating taking on a capsule wardrobe challenge or if you already dress in capsules and want to improve your process, you might find the articles below interesting and useful.   Even if you aren’t ready to do Project 333 or a similar challenge – or have no desire to do so, you’ll likely still receive benefit from reading a few of these blog posts.  There are some great nuggets of wisdom therein on dressing with less and making the most of our wardrobes.

Continue reading

Lessons from Closet Favorites – 2015 Cool Weather Items

Way back in the fall of 2013, I wrote a post about lessons from closet favorites, using my summer wardrobe from that year as an example.  In that post, I shared photos of my favorite items from that season and looked for common threads among them that could inform my future shopping.  Today I’d like to do the same with my cool weather wardrobe (the cool weather season spans from December through June where I live – we don’t really get true winters here).

Closet favorites

Do you know what your closet favorites have in common?

For most people in the northern hemisphere, summer has officially begun even if there are a few days left of spring on the calendar.  This is a good time to take stock of last season’s wardrobe and how it did or didn’t meet our needs.  If you’re reading this from Down Under or similar parts of the world, you may want to take a look instead at your fall (autumn) clothing for the purposes of this exercise, since that season is coming to a close for you.

Continue reading

On Paring Down, Project 333, and World Travel

The following is a guest post from Chau Le of Milo Theory, a globetrotter (14+ countries) and avid Krav Maga addict (she’s training to become an instructor). Chau lived abroad in Taiwan and Spain during her college years, picking up languages and a love for exotic, foreign foods. She relocated to sunny California after graduating from Portland State University and is currently pursuing a career in Communications and PR.  She loves cookies and considers her move to go to graduate school in Belgium (and quitting after 10 days) to be one of the hardest and best decisions of her life.

Chau Le, The Traveling Cherub

Chau Le enjoying her European journey. 

We’ve entered a new year, and can put Black Friday, Christmas sales, and crowded January returning sessions behind us.   So I thought it would be a good time to write about how Project 333 instilled a zen-like calmness in me that helped prevent me from rushing to Macy’s at 5 a.m., possibly saving me from actual bodily harm from fighting the crazed masses trying to get the cheapest deals at the door.

Continue reading