Summary of my bright project 333 summer capsule wardrobe

Time for the big project 333 reveal!

In reality the time it has taken me to sew and then blog about the projects means I am actually packing away this Summer 333 capsule and getting out my autumn capsule at the moment.

Project 333 is all about dressing with less and on her blog Courtney Carver outlines the rules and gives lots of ideas on approaching it. She also runs a course to help people follow this project to simplify life. The thing I love about her approach is that although there are suggestions on try it is very much up to the individual to adapt the project to fit them. I don’t follow the strictest regime and it has altered over time!

Initially, when I started last year, I followed Courtney’s advice to clear out all the clothes I didn’t choose for my capsule into my storage areas (where I keep off season clothes). When I started I was actually doing project 663  as I would have 33 items of clothing for work and 33 casual for 3 months. The fact that I still had clothes in my storage areas shows that I have too many clothes! My quest was to simplify my wardrobe with the aim of gradually whittling down to having only well made items I love in my wardrobe. However, I want to do this over years. Although I want to cut down on my clothes where possible I want to reuse or recycle items so I want to think carefully about it. I am now doing project 333 to cover both work and casual but don’t necessarily include accessories or shoes in the 33 (in reality I rarely wear accessories and tend to stick to 2 pairs of shoes during a season).

At the end of each 3 months I assess the clothes I have worn and those I am choosing for the next season to decide if it is time to let items go. Over my first year I have found that I usually prefer to use non-traditional neutrals- I’m not big on wearing lots of black, brown, grey, white or beige! On me they tend to be a bit meh! They obviously have their uses so I haven’t necessarily thrown them out. However, I have found that I tend to be choosing my own non-traditional neutrals as I put together my capsule. While doing Project 333 I have become more confident in the colours I like to wear and want to wear- most of the items I’ve recycled or repurposed have been those in colours that don’t really do a lot for me. Where I loved the material and cut  of an item I’ve dyed it a colour that suits me better. I have also sorted out any clothes which I feel are aspirational and don’t suit my current lifestyle. Where possible I am restyling these to fit my requirements so I actually wear them.

When I look in my storage areas now I have a restricted pallette of colours but all ones I like to wear (the same for my fabric stash for sewing). Just before the next season starts I have a quick look at colour trends online and in shops. I usually find a few trends which fit in with colours I have and these are usually the colours I tend to use for my capsule. My Summer capsule is unusual since most of it can be casual wear so I decided to minimise my neutrals. When it is not Summer I will usually have a more traditional neutral in my wardrobe. I generally pull out all the clothes suitable for the season in my proposed colours onto my clothes rack. I then try and choose about 40 items- a mixture of plains and prints in these colours. After a couple of days I re-examine and whittle down to 33, making sure they can mix and match as much as possible. I also put together a list of any items I think need replacing or that I know I haven’t worn so much. I plan to sew or refashion these items. As I make the new items I replace the old ones during the project so by the end of the 3 months I should find I am happily wearing all 33 items.

For my summer wardrobe I decided to use mainly pink and purple with some aqua and berry plus the odd neutral item. When I made my selection I realised that I really needed more shorts- initially I used a beige pair while I made two new pairs. I wanted some more patterned tops and I also really needed summer skirts (a lot of these were replacing tops and skirts that were getting very worn, some because they were second had when I got them). I made a list and made the new items.

Once I had finished my sewing my Summer capsule was as follows

Of these tops 7 were ones I had bought new and 4 had been bought in charity shops (all bought before the project). 3 were sewn by me (pink and berry tunic, pink and berry gypsy top and knit purple and pink top).

Of these skirts 2 were bought new, 1 from a charity shop and 5 were made (Pink & berry with flower embellishment, pink wiggle skirt, purple flower knit, reversible pink satin/ purple and multicolour flower).

Of these 7 were bought new and 2 pairs of shorts made (Pink and berry shorts and berry shorts).

This is the first Project 333 I have done where I hadn’t filled up gaps by buying new clothes and sewed them instead. Hopefully these will last well! There is only one of these items that still needs to be replaced- the purple t-shirt from the charity shop (£1) isn’t in very good condition. I do have some purple knit fabric so I should be able to sew a replacement.

Anyone else trying project 333? Have you tried moving away from traditional neutrals?

3 thoughts on “Summary of my bright project 333 summer capsule wardrobe

  • September 3, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I have the same problem with neutrals. I strangely did a purple and pink and dark green wardrobe. I’m trying to make what I need for mine as well. Do you find that you use the same pieces or colors when moving to one season to another or do you have a completely different wardrobe? I saw one project 333 where a girl did only black and white. I couldn’t do that! I’m looking forward to seeing your fall wardrobe. And since I think you are in England and actually have a winter I am interested in seeing your winter wardrobe as well. I live in Minnesota and it gets really cold in the winter, so I’m trying to adapt a wardrobe to work for me. I haven’t figured that out yet. Most people it seems start with summer, because it’s easier. Thanks for inserting some color into the project 333 site! I love it. And I think it’s even better because you sewed it yourself! Well Done!!

    • September 6, 2014 at 7:01 pm

      Hi Stephanie!
      It is great to ‘meet’ someone else doing Project 333 using similar colours in a seasonal climate. Hopefully we’ll be able to bounce ideas off each other.
      I do have some overlap between seasons. I have certain colours that I’m sticking to buying/ making so there is bound to be some overlap.
      I’m working on my Autumn wardrobe at the moment. I’ve chosen my main colours- berry, pink, dark blue and aqua. I’ve pulled out the clothes I have in these and selected those that are possibles. I have yet to whittle down to my final 33 as I haven’t been feeling well. I’m hoping to do that tomorrow and then get the photographs done over the next week.
      I am in England so as you say it can be tricky managing the seasons. I run my project 333 a month differently to Courtney as it fits better with my life. Summer is easiest as I don’t need such a range in terms of weather and also I’m mainly in casuals. My Autumn will be September- November. As you say this gets tougher due to the range of weather. I’ll have to cover from vest tops and shorts at one extreme to layers with woolies at the other. I find layers is key!!
      Thanks for your comments

  • October 8, 2014 at 7:11 am

    Nice to see this. I, too, have summer/winter lives/colours. My summer wardrobe was mostly aquas/cream/grey/coral and as the weather cools I turn to burnt orange/khaki/purply-berry tones as my “neutrals” – I have some grey/white/black but do not base my wardrobe on them and find the others combine really well and look very seasonal with textures/warmth to suit. Our summers are hot and humid at home (central Europe) and pleasantly breezy at the sea where I spend most of the summer (Brittany), and in the winter it’s dry and cold and we’re at some altitude with a “proper” winter, so this works well for me.

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