Thursday, 27 June 2013

Project 333 - my Summer 33

For any new readers, Project 333 involves limiting yourself to a wardrobe of 33 items to last 3 months. Click on the link above if you are interested in finding out more. Some of you may feel that this is a large wardrobe, whilst others may be exclaiming "Only 33!" To be honest, when I first started out on Project 333, I was worried that I would find 33 items a bit limiting, so although I included my bags and shoes, I excluded scarves and jewellery. After the first season, I decided to exclude all accessories to give me a bit more freedom. The really dedicated followers of Project 333 will include shoes, scarves, handbags and jewellery, but I have decided that this would be a step too far for me at this early stage of dressing with less!

Looking back, having completed three seasons of Project 333, I can honestly say that though I have found it a bit challenging at times, I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It has encouraged my creativity,  in trying to make the most of a more limited wardrobe. It has also made me very aware of how much money I have spent in the past on clothes that never really suited me, that didn't fit me very well or that were fashionable and clearly not meant to last. Project 333 encourages you to be ruthless when going through your wardrobe and only keep the clothes that you really love, that fit you properly and that flatter you. I've lost count of the number of bags of clothing that have gone to the recycling bins over the last nine months!

So here is my first Summer 33, with lots of colourful tops and slightly more restrained colours for my skirts and trousers, which gives them more flexibility when creating a variety of outfits.

There are sixteen tops above, with a mixture of sleeveless, short-sleeved and lightweight long-sleeved tops. By wearing them with different trousers or skirts from the selection below, plus playing with a variety of accessories, I can create numerous outfits. The two longer pairs of trousers are linen, the trousers on the right are cropped and they are all perfect for my mainly casual lifestyle. The four skirts below them have the potential to create smarter outfits or can be dressed up or down to suit.


I have several evening events lined up over the next couple of months, so I have included two short dresses and one longer dress. I can also wear them during the daytime if any other smart occasions occur.

My winter coats and heavy jackets have been packed away, however the forecast is for a cooler summer than in previous years so I have included some cardigans and light jackets. Summer may have officially arrived here in Spain, but I needed to wear a jacket last night and a cardigan this morning.  If the forecasters are wrong, I may pack away some of these outer garments and replace them with more bright tops!

Although the idea with Project 333 is to select your 33 items to last the whole season, there is a certain amount of flexibility that allows you to swap items if, for example, the weather suddenly changes. I see Project 333 as an exercise in awareness, not deprivation. You are allowed to buy new clothes but are encouraged to throw something old out when you do so. Even though I may bend the rules a bit, I have still found a huge improvement in the amount of clothes in my wardrobe that I now actually wear since starting this challenge. Not only that, there is plenty of room in my wardrobe so that I can see all of my clothes, which is a major benefit. If you aren't already taking part in Project 333, why not give it a go? You may surprise yourself by enjoying it, just like I did! Please come back here to leave your comments, any tips from your own experiences or to ask for advice.


  1. Thanks for sharing .. as someone just getting started, it helps to see what a real case looks like!

    1. Hi, I'm pleased that you found this helpful. Did you look for my previous posts on Project 333? You can find them using the search box at the top of the post. Good luck with the project, and please let me know how you get on!

  2. This is easy when you live in a hot climate! Just be prepared to wear everything once since you'll get it all sweaty.

    Now it's my turn to head to the UK, but only for a week. No weddings, thankfully. Just visiting my very ill brother-in-law. Packing is problematic since there will be many of us staying in one house in London and no place to hang up hand-washed items.

    1. Hi Robin, Why do you think there are so many tops?in my 33! Once it gets really hot, I plan to cut down on cardigans and jackets and replace them with even more tops! The two patterned skirts proved useful last summer as they are very light and can be washed and dried quickly.

      Sorry to hear that your brother-in-law is ill. London tends to be reasonably warm even on wet and cooler days, so your best bet (which you probably already know) is lots of light tops with a couple of outer layers. Hope that the trip goes well for you.

    2. Thanks Sue.

  3. Hi Sue, I think it's also easier to work this system when you only have one life-style to work with but I work full-time so have a set of work clothes and a set of non-work clothes, but as I change when I get home from work I go through a lot of clothes in a week. Does this mean I can have 2 sets of 33 pieces as my work style is very different to my home style and the clothes are not interchangeable.

    I have now thrown out all my oversized clothes and I am left with a lot of empty hangers, so time to start filling them with smaller sized clothing, but rather than just buying randomly as I have before, I am planning to work out in advance what I want and go looking for it.

  4. Hi Jacqui, I don't see why you shouldn't have two sets of 33 if that is what you need to cope with your two life-styles, especially if the clothes aren't interchangeable. I think that many of my tops would have been appropriate for the office in the days when I worked full-time, but I wasn't working in a formal environment.

    Would you like to write a guest post once you have planned what clothes you are looking for? Or maybe give me a "shopping list" and see what I can come up with! It's a great opportunity for you to create a wardrobe that really works for you - have fun!