Project 333: Summer capsule

Well, this is awkward: I had an entire post written about my summer Project 333 capsule and how much I loved it, how easy it was to put together because A) less clothes needed in the summer and 2) not much different than my spring wardrobe, and how so many of these pieces were three-plus years old and still going strong, yay me!

And then I went to my closet to take a few photos and make sure I was remembering all of the items I’d listed, and it struck me that tired of all of it, the clothes, the project, and if I had to look at some of this stuff for another second, I was going to scream. Actually, I said a string of bad words, but my mother reads this blog, so we’ll just go with the loose translation. 😉


Having practiced Project 333 for five years, there’s much I love about this minimalist wardrobe challenge: having a smaller closet actually gives me more to wear, everything  fits well, it’s filled with pieces that I actually feel good wearing, I’ve figured out what my “personal style” is (I feel stupid typing that because who cares, but anyway, I have), and I’ve gone from buying things just to buy them to really not shopping at all.

And I owe a debt of gratitude to Courtney Carver for coming up with it — this is one of the first things I tackled when I started my minimalism journey, and it taught me so much about what I need vs. what I want.

But I think … it’s time to let go of Project 333 and embrace Project Trisha’s Minimalist Closet. I don’t care about the numbers. I want to add pieces not based on a calendar. I want to just enjoy my closet and not worry about rules real or imagined.

I don’t know. I’m just bored. Not really a great feeling, to be honest, because that means there’s probably some other underlying cause and I’m just not emotionally up to figuring that out. Also, thanks to the post “Conscious consumerism is NOT a lie,” I’ve got a minimalism vs. zero waste war going on, because do I want to shed or do I want to completely use up?

(I know, overthink much?)

All of that is just to say I embraced a new plan: I went through my closet and took out everything I’m sick of or was just keeping in my closet because I had wiggle room in my numbers (like a sweatshirt I never wear). I put all of that away to deal with later — what’s the rush? — and then I went shopping.

That’s kind of hard to do in our little tourist trap of a town (I am morally opposed to paying $45 for a thin t-shirt), but I was committed. I tried the Goodwill Boutique first, but they didn’t have plain t-shirts in solid colors, which is all I wanted. I finally found four at a little boutique for $15 each: Navy (old habits die hard), peach (ooooh!), red (I love red!) and brown. I chose those colors because that’s what they had, and also because they’ll go well with the bottoms I already own. And deep down, I’m a jewel tone kind of girl.

Add these items to the two new skirts I recently found — one red, one black — and I am feeling much better about myself.

So my new and improved closet looks like this:

Grey: Cardigan, long-sleeve stripped t-shirt and lacy tank (3)

Navy/blue: New t-shirt, cardigan, pullover sweater, vest, jeans, denim jacket, flower shirt 1, flower shirt 2, pretty sheer thing, denim capris (10)

Red: New t-shirt and skirt (2)

Peach: New t-shirt (1)

Brown: New t-shirt, Birkenstocks, skirt 1 (teal, brown and beige) and skirt 2 (brown and beige) (4)

Beige/white: Skirt, jacket, capris (3)

Black: Cardigan, skirt, t-shirt, Maryjane-type shoe, t-shirt dress, polkadot tank, capris (7)


This does not include my kick ass navy blue dress I wear for special occasions or when I’m just feeling particularly fancy, or two tank tops — beige and navy — that I wear underneath items and therefore I’m classifying as underwear. Or my tennis shoes — I only wear those on walks.

But yeah: One pair of jeans, three capris, five skirts and a dress, two pairs of shoes and then the various tops. I can work with this.

As for the fall term of P333, I’m not going to worry about it — I’ll just let it play out as the weather or my mood dictates and forget about the calendar.


13 thoughts on “Project 333: Summer capsule

  1. Mary Ann says:

    Maybe the Project 333 is a good start to just get someone in the frame of mind of having less clothes, but I never really got why it has to have this magic number. I get having only what you need, but my clothes also have to make me feel good wearing them. If I am uncomfortable with something physically or mentally, it has to go. If it is unflattering, it has to go. If I am tired of it, it has to go. Just because something is still in good shape is no reason for me to keep it. But I can still have a minimal wardrobe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trisha Walker says:

      I agree — it’s a great place to start if you’re thinking about minimalism but not sure where to start. The lessons I learned with my wardrobe definitely spilled over into other areas of my life. I’m just kind of … over it.

      My problem is that minimalism and zero waste clash sometimes for me — I want to do the right thing by the environment, which would be to keep items until they wear out or figure out a way to repurpose, but I also hate clutter and I’m not really into keeping stuff just to keep it if I no longer have a use for it. Uh, and my projects generally go no where. So I really appreciate your comment — you’re totally right! Where’s that donation bag Abby started?…


  2. Roberta says:

    I’m glad to hear you say you no longer do P333. I’ve been putting off officially doing P333 with my wardrobe because seasons are not reliable here and because I don’t have a ton of clothes already, so whittling down the numbers to fit an outside accounting seems more effort than it’s worth. I’m glad it worked for you, but I’m glad I can “do” minimalism without it.


    • Trisha Walker says:

      I think the point is to teach people that they can go through weather extremes with a limited wardrobe, but it does make it harder when seasons aren’t reliable (or the weather fluctuates so much. Looking at you, Oregon). But you can definitely be a minimalist and not participate.

      I need to catch up on your blog. I like how you keep it real with the daily struggles.


  3. Diane says:

    I have OCD and get very anxious when there is too much of anything in my environment. Being married to a hoarder is my biggest challenge – his half of our small walk-in closet stresses me out so I purge way more of my clothing than I should, just to try and keep my sanity.

    I, too, am bored with my ancient minimalist wardrobe but shopping for clothes is stressful because – all. those. clothes in the store. I buy maybe one “new” (to me) item a year – and purge several. Now I borrow from DH’s side of the closet (for schlepping around the house) because my own wardrobe has become so paltry.



    • Trisha Walker says:

      Sigh indeed — that sounds hard. (Not OCD, but I have terrible anxiety. I know. It’s harder than it should be, but knowing that doesn’t make it easier.) I guess for me, knowing exactly what I’m looking for helps me narrow things down when I am at the store, and I’m not above just telling a salesperson what I want and letting them go fetch it for me. (We do what we must to cope.) I seriously wish I could come shopping with you and act as a buffer.


  4. Linda M says:

    Sounds to me like you have it figured out! You knew it was no longer working…so you fixed it. You didn’t go out and buy 100 new pieces either. You used lots of common sense. Seems that is something that is so lacking in our society these days. It is your life…and you get to make the rules as long as it isn’t harmful to others and even the earth…which buying four new shirts after that long sounds pretty amazing to me…you should pat yourself on the back!


    • Trisha Walker says:

      Linda, I wish I could take you out for coffee, you’re my biggest cheerleader ever. It’s amazing what having four new t-shirts has done for my entire wardrobe outlook! That’s all I wore this week and I felt like a rock star.


  5. V says:

    I think you’ve done just about the perfect thing – smart, measured changes without being too adherent to a formula.

    I never could get quite on board with p333. I think it’s a fantastic idea, but I already have a fairly minimalist closet and we really only have two seasons here (one of which is quite short). I do, however, have a weakness for the Vivienne files:

    At risk of sounding like an ad, I’ll say that if you’re feeling uninspired by your wardrobe and struggling to figure out why, I recommend her. I’d jump around a bit in the archives since she’s been a bit busy this summer and the front page isn’t as representative as it might be.I really don’t share her sense of style at all, but I appreciate is that she’s 1.) very in to capsule wardrobes and 2.) dedicated the blog to working through different permutations *and* explaining what her thought process is. Her “Whatever’s Clean 13” series is a favorite (putting together 13 piece wardrobes where you could toss on anything that was clean and be well dressed). I’m also fond of “Start with Art” (capsule wardrobes inspired by a particular piece of art). She does a great job of both inspiring and explaining her actual process.


    • Trisha Walker says:

      I’m sorry, V — I just found this in my spam folder (huh, didn’t know I had a spam folder). I suspect that’s because of the web address. Weird.

      I really like the Vivienne files as well, although I don’t follow the blog as closely as I used to (I do follow her on Instagram — she’s got all kinds of things going on over there). Janice has taught me a lot! Also my kick ass navy blue dress was one that she recommended maybe last year at this time. I love that thing.


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