I've been gradually reducing the number of clothes that I own over the years, and today I hit the lowest number ever!
I now own only 33 pieces of clothing and accessories including bags, shoes, jackets and coats (but excluding underwear, leggings, socks, and pajamas.)
33-piece, all-season and all-occasion wardrobe. Not to be confused with the Project 333 which can be as many as 132 pieces. The scary thing is that I can still take some pieces out and be able to function no problem.
Do you want to know how I dress for different occasions with such a small wardrobe? Let me show you below.
First of all, here is my entire wardrobe. Sorry, it's not a professional quality photo, and the lighting is kind of iffy. But, you can still see that I gravitate towards black and gray, and I don't have any blouses, skirts, pants, etc.
Awhile ago, I made a decision that I will only wear dresses to reduce decision making in the morning and to maximize the space in the small closet I had. The obvious benefits of wearing dresses: 1) their top and bottom always match, and 2) they would take half as much space in the closet as separate tops and bottoms.
Then I tightened up the rule to only buying black and gray dresses made with light, travel-ready material (a blend of polyester-elastane). Black dresses are easy to both dress up and dress down. The poly-elastane blend is light, fast-drying and the color doesn't fade.
Another rule that I introduced in the last year: no more buying high-heeled shoes. I still own two pairs of 2-inch heeled pumps, and I plan on keeping them for now, but my days of going for a walk (and a run, occasionally) in them are over.
Next, I will show you how I mix and match my limited wardrobe to cover my various activities.
I work from home and don't need to dress up, so I rotate my five dresses and cardigans or sweaters to go with them. In summer, I usually forego cardigans. In the middle of the winter, I sometimes wear a thin down maxi coat (!!!) inside to keep warm. Leggings, warm socks are usually added to the mix.
Hiking, walking, kayaking, and all other physical activities
Light and stretchy material of my dresses make it ideal for moderate physical activities. The dresses are from Columbia, Patagonia, and Eddie Bauer.
Upscale restaurants and classical music concert
I live in a small city where there really aren't any super-fancy places to hang out. So what I have is sufficient. I like how pearls add instant class to an outfit.
The light, fast-drying and wrinkle resistant material is ideal for traveling. And the pair of Crocs sandals and Native shoes are super comfy and great for walking: I can easily walk more than 10 km in them without getting sore feet. They are also easy to wash, too. Just rinse and shake and they're already dry.
I pretty much utilize everything in my wardrobe to get around town. Here are the typical combination for fall/winter and spring/summer.
I should mention that I keep the gold chain on me all the time.
Anyway, now you know how I survive on just 33 pieces of clothing.
I may not have much, but I don't feel restricted in any way. As you can see above, I have enough to cover all of my activities. I tend to wear the same thing twice before washing except in the middle of the summer, and I usually do laundry twice a week so I never run out of things to wear either.
On contrary, my small wardrobe has given me a lot of benefits. Laundry is now easier because I'm forced to do it regularly, meaning I never need to face a mountain of dirty laundry. One load every third day, that's all.
I used to think it's unacceptable to wear the same things all the time, but I let go of that notion. Being OK with wearing the same thing helped me reduce the frequency of clothes shopping dramatically.
Additionally, I get the satisfaction of utilizing every single piece of clothing and accessories and knowing that nothing is wasted.
So, I highly recommend creating a capsule wardrobe!