Is your wardrobe serving you? We found it astonishing just how many outfits you could make with just 33 items of clothing.
While this does involved a bit of rewearing, remixing and reinventing, it means you really don't need as many clothes as you think. You just need your wardrobe to do most of the work for you.
Come and explore this way of curating your wardrobe with us, and we'll even throw in some of our hottest items to inspire you for this autumn.
Project 333: How 33 Items of Clothing Can Make 25,176 Outfits
Who Started Project 333?
It all starts with Courtney. Courtney Carver created a website called 'Be More With Less', along with a minimalist fashion challenge called Project 333 back in 2010.
Carver talks about her Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis in 2006, which she says, in her words, has really impacted her life. But she does not let this define her. In fact it has inspired her to write books about this challenge that she created.
Project 333 grew out of the need to be more with less. This means being okay with living with less stuff. It's about being happy with a simpler way of life centred around living, rather than owning things and worrying about the debt and stress that comes with it.
It started as an experiment but Carver says how this has now "taken on a life of its own".
33 items = 25,176 outfits, says who!?
It is amazing to think that you could truly make so many different outfits with just 33 items of clothing. But where does this sum come from?
Enter Pamela, from North Carolina. She asked her son, Eric (a principal software architect) to work out just how many outfits she could make from a list of 33 items that she gave to him. This number even accounts for items that can be feasibly worn together. You can check out the full calculation here.
How does Project 333 work, a Quick Summary, Rules and more
We previously explored the idea of a wellbeing wardrobe, but today we're checking out something called Project 333. You might be thinking, so what's the difference between Project 333 vs capsule wardrobe or indeed a wellbeing wardrobe. In truth, there are many similarities.
Project 333 is all about having a more reduced wardrobe of just 33 items. In fact, let's start with explaining the basics.
So, does the Project 333 include underwear? No, you don't have to worry about underwear, pyjamas, or anything you just wear around the house for cleaning or gardening, plus any gym/dog walking/workout clothes.
Other than that it is 33 items of clothing for 3 months, including your clothing, jewellery, accessories and shoes.
In a way, this challenge is giving you all you need to set up a wellbeing wardrobe.
As we explained here, wellbeing wardrobes are a looser term to describe a wardrobe that is better for you and the planet. It can include a capsule wardrobe or something like Project 333 if it helps you to reduce your consumption of brand new clothing.
You might decide 33 items is far too difficult. But that is partly the point, to start to realise that you can get by if you focus on this as a challenge. It might just help you to start clearing out your wardrobe before the arrival of late autumn and winter, thinking about what you actually wear on a daily basis.
Is Project 333 for Men and Women?
There's no reason why anyone should feel they cannot have a go at Project 333 or something similar. After all, it is all about re-evaluating your wardrobe and deciding what you actually wear and what you need to buy (if anything).
33 is just a number at the end of the day. It's a good number to stick to and gives you something to aim for. But don't let it be the be all or end all. Just go for it.
What other People are Saying about Project 333
Here's one of the people who tried Project 333 had to say. Paul said:
"When I first read about it, I wasn’t sure how 33 items of clothing would look, and whether people would notice I always seemed to be in the same thing but having spoken to my brother about it last night he described it as being ‘ten outfits’ which makes sense."
This is a great way of looking at it. Again it is where the challenge essentially becomes your foundation for a capsule wardrobe that you can change and maintain as you need.
One challenger even managed to make do with just 19 articles of clothing! They said they were at college at the time and did the laundry every two days.
Other people have described Project 333 as "brutal" but a "really fun process".
Lots of other feedback seemed to reveal that it made people be a bit more thoughtful about what they wear, allowing them to put together more considered outfits. Some even reported getting more compliments on how they dress!
Autumn Inspiration for your Project 333 Challenge
Originally, Project 333 was meant to be a challenge that lasted 3 months. You might have a go at this for autumn, going into winter. Maybe this would look different if you planning a spring/summer wardrobe? Again this is entirely up to you and your needs. The challenge specifically mentions you can have as much loungewear/thermals/essentials as you need.
Otherwise, we've put together a few of our favourite preloved items that you could use for the challenge.
You can't go wrong with a trusty trench coat. This Per Una Navy Lyocell Trench Coat UK12 is perfect for helping you transition into autumn. Trench coats are great for everyday use. They're also great for levelling up your outfit overall. Perfect for going to work, then heading out to meet a friend.
Don't forget a cardi! This M&S Pale Blue Cable Knit Jumper UK14 is great for pairing together your pastels. Having a jumper or cardigan as the temperature drops is a must. You could wear this with some preloved jeans
Protect your neck! A versatile layer, this Debenhams Burnt Orange Polo Neck Jumper UK14 offers a beautiful warm colour. Plus your neck will stay warm with the polo neck. Wear this under a bigger jumper, pinafores, dungarees and flannel shirts.
Sure-fire shirt. Shirts are a handy staple to have in any wardrobe. This Barbour Green Check Shirts UK16 has green and brown checks on a white background. Ideal for a smart/casual vibe for any weekend outings.
A colourful jacket to brighten up your work day. This Monsoon Black Floral Jacket UK12 even has a black jersey lining for added warmth. Sometimes you just need a pop of colour in your outfit.
We have so many fantastic preloved items that would be perfect for your Project 333 challenge at Green Heart Collective. You can save money and the planet by buying second hand.
Good luck with the challenge, let us know if you're thinking of giving it a go!
And, if you realise after the challenge that you have way too many clothes and you need to sell them, try our alternatives to Depop, Vinted and eBay.