My 33-Item Wardrobe.

I’ve been doing Project 333 for over two weeks now and I have lots of thoughts and experiences to share, but first, I want to show you what I decided to include in my 33 item wardrobe. (In case you didn’t read my original post – the 33 items don’t include running clothes or pajamas).

The Before Inventory:

12 dresses, 6 sweatshirts and fleeces, 8 pairs of dress pants, 4 pairs jeans (including capris and shorts), 1 pair of jeggings, 25 pairs of socks, 6 pairs of tights and leggings, 5 skirts, 17 short-sleeved and sleeveless tops, 6 cardigans, 8 long-sleeved and sweaters, 15 pairs of shoes, 11 necklaces, and 10 pairs of earrings.

[134 total items]

The 33-Item Wardrobe

Three long sleeved shirts, six short sleeved shirts, and two cardigans.

Two dresses, a pair of jeans,  a pair of cropped plaid-ish dress pans,  a pair of khakis, a pair of jean capris, and a pair of slim black pants.

Three scarves, two belts, two necklaces, a pair of earrings (not pictured).


Two pairs of flats, a pair of sandals, and a pair of Toms (to be traded for Tevas when it’s warmer).

How I Went from 134 Items to 33 Items in my Wardrobe:

I had four things in mind when choosing my items to keep:

– I had to love it.

– It had to fit well.

– It had to be versatile.

– It had to be comfortable.

 I knew I wanted to add some scarves to extend my wardrobe and cardigans to make it more flexible. From there, I just slowly (painstakingly slow) added items and took items out until I felt like I had a good mix.

A few notes on my wardrobe:

It’s flexible. I will trade out anything that I decide doesn’t fit well, isn’t versatile enough, gets stained or ripped, or otherwise needs to be ousted.

I am not a fashionista. I realized in doing this that 90% of my favorite clothes are from Gap or Target. A combo of well-made and inexpensive is how I make it work.

I had to let go of some ideas about myself. Having fancy clothes doesn’t mean I wear them. I don’t like to wear my pretty heels or uncomfortable clothes, so I don’t and they end up just cluttering my closet. Packing away my heels meant I got to pack away the pants-that-require-heels. It’s much more freeing to admit that I like wearing shoes that are comfortable.

Let’s talk work clothes. Since I work at a school, I dress up, but not as much as when I worked in an office. I never get to wear jeans to work, but I also don’t wear blazers. I wear the same shirts on the weekend and during the week, just with jeans on the weekend. If you have to wear terribly dressy clothes and don’t want to wear them on the weekend, I’d suggest upping the number to 50-items if that would make you more apt to try it! I belieeeeeeve in you.

It is addictive. Even though running clothes and pajamas don’t count, I still pared down those items. I was sort of addicted to seeing the empty space in my dresser. But I didn’t stop there. Nope, Gabe’s closet was next. And Mike gave in and is also doing the challenge. I’m warning you: addictive. 

Next week, I’ll tell you how it’s going and maybe even show you some of my outfits. But remember, I already told you, I’m not a fashionista.

About Ashley

Ashley is a web designer, mother, and social media addict. She blogs about her attempts to live more simply and pursuing happiness while juggling a job she loves and life with two adorable sons and an academic husband.


  1. Again, I think it is so awesome you are doing this challenge. Even in Korea, I think I have too much, despite my bringing 25% or less of my American wardrobe. I brought 10 pairs of shoes and I honestly have worn 3 since I got here. But I am also addicted/obsessed with the idea of looking amazing with only 33 things. 50 things is kind of my limit right now (although down from 175, I’d say it’s quite an achievement!)
    Abby’s most recent post :: witnessing a miracle.My Profile

  2. Ohmigosh I couldn’t do this. Seriously impressed that you are, and LOVE your combinations
    Lulu’s most recent post :: Beauty in the midst of chaosMy Profile

  3. I saw your originally Project 333 post and was totally intrigued. I know I tend to wear the same work wardrobe week after week and love the same few comfy weekend items.

    Since I will be moving in a few weeks I thought it was a great time to look in my closet and get ride of the clothes I just don’t wear.

    I had previous done the turn the hanger around trick to get a better idea of what clothes I was really wearing and that was a great starting point. After making the purge I inventoried the items that were going to the Salvation Army and was surprised at how much I was able to let go of. There were a few items that I couldn’t permanently part with but I did donate some them to my sister’s wardrobe with a “I love these, but don’t wear them, you better not destroy them” warning.

    I’m not down to 33 items yet, but after laundry this weekend I’m going to make another attempt. The “victims” of my paring down that I still just can’t let go of will be the first items to be packed up for my move (now that I cleared out my closet from all the boxes of kitchen items I hadn’t used in over two years–they are now happily being used by my sister).
    Radioactive Duck’s most recent post :: Knitting ProgressMy Profile

  4. This is a great idea! Maybe a good way to gear up for a challenge like this is to decide what you really wear–don’t people only use, like, half their clothes anyway? You could put the stuff you find yourself wearing more and more in a different part of your closet for a few weeks/months, and then when it’s time to pare down, look at the stuff you haven’t worn and it’ll probably be easy to pack stuff up or let it go!
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  5. I’m impressed! I love the wardrobe you have put together and I can’t wait to see your outfit pictures. Reading about you doing 333 has me thinking more about my clothes. I have already went through and separated the things that do not fit well from the stuff that does, and started a donation pile. Now I just need to commit to narrowing down what is left. If I eliminate the things that don’t fit right now, I don’t have much left so hopefully it won’t be too hard to pick from that. My downfall will be the accessories. I love my earrings and necklaces.

  6. We’re shoe twinsies. Also, good for you for making this project your own and throwing a dramatic fit if one of your choices ends up not having been a good one. You rock. Also, I had those shoes on the left. Yup. :P
    Ti’s most recent post :: DermoidsMy Profile

  7. I’m by no means a fashionista either but I’d love to see some of the combos you come up with! Especially as you get to the end of the time :)
    Lindsay @ LindsayInNYC’s most recent post :: Old Navy – $8 CardigansMy Profile

  8. You know, Ashley, you really got me intrigued. Since my closet definitely needs an overhaul, I think I might tackle it with this project in mind.
    San’s most recent post :: On someone’s 90th birthdayMy Profile

  9. After giving birth to Gavin and not returning to my pre-pregnancy size, I sort of had to reinvent my wardrobe. At that time, I made a similar conclusion as you: my present day life shows no need to dress up on a regular basis, so don’t buy clothes that don’t fit my lifestyle! It’s been amazing wearing comfy shoes 99.9% of the time!
    Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks’s most recent post :: EasterMy Profile

  10. This sounds similar to the 30×30 remix on Kendi Everyday. Hers is much simpler in that it’s 30 items but only for 30 days, and you don’t count jewelry or accessories. But this sounds great too, I just think the time requirement is a little to extreme for me.
    Allison Blass’s most recent post :: I’m Just Not That Into This.My Profile

  11. Delphine says:

    I guess the best criteria in determining which items in your wardrobe will remain is the versatility of the clothing item, right? If you have a lot of versatile items, it will be easy to mix and match.
    Delphine’s most recent post :: maternity scrubs onlineMy Profile

  12. I am SUCH a fashion nerd, so this post is perfection. You MUST post your outfits, please please please?! Also, GAP and Target?! Yes, please!!!
    Angie’s most recent post :: Garden PlanningMy Profile

  13. Good for you for committing to and knocking out this challenge! I’m excited to see how it works and how things are going during the next few weeks. I have no doubt you’ll get the hang of it, though, and that you’ll find all sorts of fun ways to mix and match everything you do have!

    Nice work!
    Erin @ The Speckled Palate’s most recent post :: Sunday Snippets: The Girls Night EditionMy Profile

  14. incredible! i have a closet and dresser full of clothes i don’t wear normally, so i definitely need to get on the ball with figuring out what to keep and what to donate. 33 items though – not sure if I can pull that one off. :)
    suki’s most recent post :: Wine and Love #33My Profile

  15. Wow, this is so inspiring! I’d love to do this sometime. I really need to make my wardrobe more flexible but less cluttered. Also, keep only stuff that I love. More than half of my clothes I don’t wear anymore, don’t feel comfortable doing so or they’re too big. It’s useless to keep them!

    Also, I’m losing weight, getting fitter, I think I’m just going to reward myself with a nice wardrobe that works and give away the clothes to charity. I don’t plan on ever being overweight again.

  16. Wow, just a single pair of jeans? I only have 2 pairs, only 1 which I wear. I thought I was a female anomaly but seems like I was on the right track all along ;). To pare down my wardrobe, I try now to buy things that I love and work for work and play/weekends. Still 33 items, bravo. And only 2 cardis. Impressive.
    lisacng @’s most recent post :: Why does my two year old have PMS?My Profile

  17. I’m so excited to have found this idea of Project333 and even more that bloggers are sharing their experiences. I see this was posted awhile ago. Are you sticking with it?
    Random Cathy’s most recent post :: Of water and blessingMy Profile

  18. doubleletterlady says:

    Love it! I need to do this.

  19. Thank you for sharing this post. I just recently have discovered the concept of minimalism, and it was driving me mad to try to get rid of clutter. Right now I try to get rid of stuff as I go along. I need to tackle the closet and I’m a bit scared. I see that this can be done. I work in a corporate environment and I dress extremely cultural when I’m not at work , so a 33 piece wardrobe for me is unrealistic; however, I could try for a 33 piece for work and 33 for my personal life. That would be great. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Ivon’s most recent post :: The New Year is well on its way… are you?My Profile


  1. […] Three whole months have passed since I removed most of my wardrobe and started wearing 33 items of clothing, shoes and accessories. (Here’s how I did it and what my wardrobe looked like.) […]

  2. […] The start of Project 333 – Why I did it and how nervous I was. […]

  3. […] Our Little Apartment:  My 33-Item Wardrobe – Web designer mom Ashley shares photos of her Project 333 capsule items, as well as her process for narrowing her wardrobe down from 134 to 33 items.  Also check out her follow-up post, “What I Gained & What’s Next.” […]

  4. […] seen this when traveling and I bring only 8 outfits with me – much less clothing than in my already modest wardrobe and, yet, […]

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