Project 333 – One Month In

A month ago I began Project 333 in which I selected 33 items of clothing and accessories to be my sole wardrobe for 3 months. So how am I doing?


On day 5 I lost an earring and nearly lost my cool too, because I started the challenge with just 2 pairs of earrings, which left me with just 1 pair! At that same time a big snow storm was headed to Portland, where we don’t typically get snow. So I focused on what Courtney Carver says “Project 333 is not about suffering.” And with that in mind, I did a swap. I swapped my earrings for a much-needed hat!


Snow hits Portland, so I swap lost earring for a hat

What was funny is about the time the snow was gone and my need for the hat was almost over, I found my earring while vacuuming! So with a little bit of flexibility, swapping the hat for the earrings and then back, I have done pretty good without too much pain.


I find lost earring about the time the snow is melting and swap back

At another point I had on my blue tank top and I missed being able to wear my blue beach glass necklace which would have been a nice addition. It’s a necklace with some sentimental value as it was handmade and the glass ended up to be from Monterey, where I grew up. It also was this artists first piece to sell. But, I stayed true to the challenge and went sans beach glass necklace.

I am noticing that my sense of how I look to others is heightened. I think I may actually become more fashion conscious just from taking the full-length photos daily. And in fact on the 11th day after I took the photo, I promptly went right back upstairs to change my clothes! Yes, it was that bad folks.


Week 1


Week 2


Week 3 (note yellow parka and black pants are for walking versus part of the 33 items).


Week 4

So far there are only a few items I haven’t worn: my flats, a lace top, my flowy pants and a sweater that goes with the flowy pants.   also must admit I wore my black and white tank and the T-shirt below just to wear something different even though the weather does not really inspire me to wear such a light garment. I think weather has been my biggest challenge.


I choose a very unique shirt as part of my 33 items which I don’t think most people would do. It’s a shirt that says “Food is my Healthcare” and it is so me!

It’s interesting as I am finding myself to be more creative and more intentional with fewer choices. Project 333 is making me more aware of fashion and I feel I’ve had more variety in my appearance versus less. I am thinking more strategically about what represents me versus automatically reaching for what was comfortable. I can mix and match colors, shapes and cuts as I am finding what actually flatters me. I am seeing myself more objectively and noticing the message that my clothing is giving to the world. I also have had fun seeing the differences that age, occupation, geographic location and culture make in what we choose to wear.  Here’s to the next two months as I continue to learn how less clothing affects my life! I’ve got a special guest from Australia coming to stay with me for a month, so we will see if any cheating or issues with just 33 items come up!


One of my favorite looks is a long charcoal tank with belt and patterned sweater. I also copied my friend Susan’s side ponytail to get a different look for my hair. The look is casual, but feels very much me!


  1. Tricia Peterman says:

    Kathy, You have my permission to cheat for the month of March. I hope you will wear whatever the occasion demands with your guest in attendance. He knows you can do a limited wardrobe as you certainly did do that on the Comino. Enjoy your guest to the fullest. I am very happy for you.
    Love, Mom


  2. jesse.anne.o says:

    I was just reading about this via links on another site (maybe it was Rowdy Kittens?) and was curious. I’m not sure if it’s the right fit for me right now but I’m finding my wardrobe is overwhelming but yet I still have “nothing to wear” so I was considering doing the process in the Tim Gunn book (which is also paring down quite a bit).


    • Jesse, Any plan for paring down your choices will reduce that overwhelm when getting dressed. I’m not familiar with the Tim Gunn plan, but you said it involves pairing down, so I’d encourage you to try it. What have you got to loose?


  1. […] to select my 33 items, but I whittled it down to just 33.  At one month into it I reported out on my progress and now it has been 3 months and you’re probably wondering “how did I […]


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