Since Courtney Carver pared her daily wardrobe down to 33 items in 2010, her minimalist movement has grown into a best-selling book, blog posts, videos and an on-line class. “Project 333 is an invitation to create space in your closet, time in your life and love in your heart. It’s a call for less and an opportunity to think differently, dress differently, and learn about what you really want and need in your closet and your life,” says Carver.
The challenge is simple enough. You dress with only 33 items – including clothing, accessories, jewelry and shoes – for 3 months. Carver gives you step by step instructions, laid out in 33 chapters of her book, “Project 333: The Minimalist Fashion Challenge That Proves Less Really Is So Much More.”
Writer Christine Platt first came connected with Project 333 when she was searching online for minimalist wardrobe options. She was spending too much time in the mornings trying to figure out what to wear and she was encouraged by getting creative and wearing less. Platt says she wasn’t looking for a monochrome minimalist wardrobe and found, “It was actually a lot of fun because it is a way to challenge yourself to have and wear only those items you need and love. Less truly is more when it comes to your wardrobe!”
Project 333 is not a what to wear or not to wear challenge. You get to pick what you want to keep. You can select all black or have a mix of colors and patterns. It’s simply picking your favorite items for three months. In fact, Carver is lose on the rules, if an item gets stained or torn, feel free to replace it – no need to wait until the season change. And, if you’re more comfortable with 40 items, that’s ok too. Carver’s challenge is more about simplifying that the mechanics of the challenge. She said initially she had come up with a number of 45, based on her list of items she thought she’d need but because she wanted to challenge herself, she slashed it to 33.
There are five things Carver is convinced you’ll gain by dressing with less.
Money. Because Project 333 is also an invitation to spend less for three months.
Time. You get time back that you used to spend shopping and time in the morning when you’d go through several outfit changes trying to decide what to wear.
Space. You’ll gain some physical space as you box up your extra items (for the next season), but you’ll also gain mental space by decluttering.
Clarity. Once you have your 33 items, you don’t have to think about what to wear anymore, what’s on sale, or what’s missing.
Freedom. No more guilt over a closet full of clothes that don’t fit, you paid too much or for something that you'll never wear again.
Morgan Gifford, an Idaho based elementary school teacher, is a Project 333 fan and of Carver’s work too. She says she was naturally drawn to minimalism but was surprised how easy it was to get down to 33 items. She loves clothes and the process of mixing and matching outfits and thought she’d be missing out. Gifford says she ended up with two big takeaways from Carver’s work, “I realized I don’t need as much stuff as I thought I did and Courtney's quote about 'What I am wearing is the least interesting thing about me,' became true for me too."
Tampa, Florida residents will get to see Carver in person when her book tour comes to the Oxford Exchange as part of their bookstore events. For more events in Tampa, follow 813area or a MyArea Network site close to you. The Project 333 Book Tour may be coming to your city too as locations are rescheduled as part of the COVID-19 pandemic. Follow Carver on her site Be More With Less for event details or take a listen to her podcast Soul +Wit that she co-hosts with her daughter Bailey, where they discuss simplicity, wellness, and living the life you love.
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