How Many Items in a Minimalist Wardrobe?

The 33 items:

1. Skinny blue jeans

2. Skinny pink jeans
3. Boot cut jeans
4. Black leggings
5. Brown tweed effect trousers
6. Green crinkle silk skirt
7. Above knee denim skirt
8. Fine knit tunic dress
9. Blue and white check shirt
10. Black and white stripe 3/4 length top
11. Coral sequin 3/4 sleeved top
12.Teal cap sleeved top
13. Blue bird top with sheer back
14. Grey jumper
15. Brown polo neck
16. Stripe cotton cardigan
17. Black winter coat
18. Blue waterproof storm coat
19. Purple gilet
20. Suede camel ankle boots with small heel
21. Brown lace up boots
22. Black ballet pumps
23. Brown flower necklace
24. Teal earrings
25. Opal drop earrings
26. Chunky twisted silver necklace
27. Aqua bead necklace
28. Aqua bead bracelet
29. Teal scarf
30. Chunky taupe knitted scarf
31. Black leather gloves
32. Black handbag
33. Silver clutch bag

Not included wedding ring, engagement ring, watch, underwear, sleep wear, lounge wear and fitness clothes.

Three weeks in, project 333 has been invaluable in helping me start to put together a minimalist wardrobe. Less choice of clothes has been far outweighed by these benefits:

  • A tidier and more spacious wardrobe.
  • Garments that co-ordinate well.
  • Wearing my favourite clothes more often.
  • Trying out new combinations of garments.
  • Realising that many items I have packed away I no longer need, like or want to keep.
  • Finding out what my wardrobe needs to make it more versatile: buying clothes from a narrower palette of colours, a black jacket for evening/smart day time and black trousers for evening/smart day time.
  • Discovering that I need less clothes, jewellery and accessories than I previously thought I did. I will be donating a considerable amount of my stored clothes when I finish the project.
  • Being better prepared for future clothes purchases - I think I'm unlikely to buy clothes on impulse anymore but will have a list of items that I will gradually buy (new or from charity shops).
  • Gaining new insight into what suits me in terms of my lifestyle, personal style, body shape and colouring.

However, I have missed some items (e.g., black biker boots, second tunic top, chunky cardigan/jacket) but I will reinstate these back in my wardrobe in January and have slightly more than 33 items. I found this number quite restrictive but I was possibly naive to itemise individual pieces of jewellery. If I had counted jewellery collectively as one item this would have given me five more items of clothing/footwear (which would have been useful). The green crinkle silk skirt whilst low maintenance (non-iron), was a mistake as it doesn't really go with many of the other items (my black skirt or black trousers would have been a better choice).

I now definitely prefer a smaller number of clothes in my wardrobe. Any future wardrobe buys will be carefully considered and will be investments; I would be prepared to spend a little more money on one item if necessary. The idea of buying throw away fashion is something that is now banished to my youth.

I knew project 333 would test my discipline but I didn't think it would make me rethink my wardrobe so radically. I think it would be really useful to do this project again in the spring/summer.

My dream of a newer, smaller, stylish and versatile wardrobe is now something I think I can achieve in the near future. Thanks project 333.

Some garments in the wash!



  1. The less choices we have in our wardrobe, the greatest amount of possibilities arise :) I have found that I don't have too many items of clothing, but I do change my closet from warm to cool seasons every 6 months. I think during each season, I do have about 30 items of clothing...including jewelry :) Thank you for sharing today.... mb

    1. You seem to have got to the stage where you are happy with your wardrobe. I will be rotating my clothes each season now as a result of this project xo

  2. Great to hear your thoughts and experiences with Project 333 Claire. You looked fab in your coral sequinned top and skinny jeans and I hope you had a wonderful time. My "turning the hangar after being worn" project is going well and is encouraging me to wear some clothes I have neglected. Not all of them are being returned to the closet however! I enjoyed seeing your snowy photos and reflections on the Winter Solstice while we have been sweltering here in Sydney. Have a very Happy Christmas and may the New Year bring every blessing. Megan x

    1. Thanks for your lovely comments Megan. Wishing you a peaceful and happy Christmas in Sydney and best wishes for 2013 xo

  3. I'm inspired by you to try project 333 but if you wear a uniform for work, do you class all the uniform as one item (someone didn't think practically when they made a large part of the uniform white!!)?

    1. Hi, I hope you try the project. I think it's fine to count your uniform as one item (especially if mainly white). The important thing is sticking with the selected 33 items throughout the project x

  4. an interesting project. I de-cluttered my wardrobe in the Autumn. But I find that I am still only wearing from a small section, even though there are some other nice things. The rest just seem to take up space or not be quite right!? Heather x

  5. I've found that having to make fewer small decisions has done a lot to remove stress from my day, so I've loved having a smaller wardrobe! The important thing, I've learned, is to keep up on the laundry. Nothing like running out of clothes...

  6. Great inspiration, I think that something I will try in the New Year. Wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas.
    Sarah x

  7. Thank you for actually posting pictures of your 33 items- it has made the project much clearer for me! Like Maria [1st comment] I rotate every 5 months [oct and april] but now I am considering having a Big Sort out in the first week of January too.
    I am trying to reconcile the 3 parts of my life, which require Smart Formal Wear [skirts], Semi Smart workwear [no jeans in the classroom] and 'me-time' wear. But I WILL get there [eventually]
    Christmas blessings xx

  8. I am inspired to have a clear out now! Thank you for sharing this. I have been trying not to buy any clothes for occasions I just don't have (such as fancy nights out!) and it has made me realise what a lot of nice stuff I already have but don't wear.
    Happy Christmas with love from Nick and Morten xx :)

  9. For me the greatest change was the relief in not having to make these tiny everyday decisions as well. So, what I decluttered mostly after project 333 were excess accessoires: handbags, hats, scarves, gloves, earrings, bracelets etc. It's nice to only have one of each kind (maybe one casual, one fancy, however not 10 casual and 10 fancy to choose from), so I just don't have to think about which handbag to take with me or which hat to go with which scarf etc. There's also the plus of having less handbags and jackets to ruffle through when the key is not where it's supposed to be.

  10. Is it 33 per season as I do not see summer clothes etc.

    1. Hi Justine. I think the ethos of this project is that the rules aren't too strict. I think most people do this as a seasonal project - I'm planning to do it again for spring/summer starting March or April.

  11. Great to see all the photos, I am trying this too. I did go for my idea of a capsule wardrobe earlier in the year, and now it's time to try Project 333 for my Summer Wardrobe.

  12. Hi
    I've just found your blog and love it - it's great to find someone in the UK, and also at a similar, if slightly further forward, stage of getting to grips with minimalism..
    I have one question on the way you manage your capsule wardrobe - do you keep clothes in storage from one season to the next when you are redefining your 33 items (so putting thick coats away for next winter and counting a thinner summer jacket for this lot of 33)?


    1. Hi there and welcome.
      Yes I currently store my out of season clothes in our loft space as I like the look of a spacious wardrobe. However, I'm hoping to reduce my clothes enough to have them all in one wardrobe eventually with space to spare. Not there yet...


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