Planning a 333 Capsule Wardrobe: Study and Sketch

High five! We just whittled down our closets You and I did quite a lot already and your closet should be thanking you for how nice and tidy its beginning to look! So here is Part 2. Shall we carry on?

Step 4: Study

Read this great article  from Project 333 so you get a better feel for what the goal is and how the rules are made to be used and broken.

Step 5: List & Sketch

On a day you are feeling good, write out 1 through 33 on paper. Here's where I sit down and try to think through what I need for the next 3 months. 

As Daniel Tiger would say, "Think about what you're gonna do, then pick the clothes that are right for you!" Yep. I just sang that song with a smile on my face. 

It's kind of fun to put it on paper. Less committal, I guess! : ) 1 through 33. Then just start somewhere! Think of this as brainstorming. Use pencil.

Forgive the cheesy drawings below (and my love of overalls). But you get the gists.

fall 333 sketch rough draft

Some people like to think of this in different terms like...

  • Color palettes: What are your base colors like brown or black or cream or grey or denim? What are your accents like rosy pink or maroon or ochre or Haylee's signature teal?
  • Styles you enjoy: trendy, classy, bohemian, vintage, beatnik, hippie chick, etc.
  • Function like: stay-at-home days, work, college, small groups. Don't forget hobbies and fun outings you'll need to dress for like swing dancing, church, hiking, bike riding, beaching it, corn-husking it?, etc. 
  • I also usually write down upcoming events so I can plan well. Like my Spring capsule included housework clothes for moving and packing days, cross-country road trip clothes, and stuff for farewell gatherings, a wedding, and play-dates. 

So I jotted those things on the right side of my page to help me mentally frame my selections for the capsule. 

I also added a list of items that don't count toward the 33 but that I will still need in my closet to the right side of the page. Things like wool socks, birth-control-flannel-pajamas, long underwear, a few work-out clothes. I'm also not counting my undergarment tanktops that won't be seen, worn as a warmer layer under sweaters, tee's, etc. 


[Here's what I came up with for the next few months... For my color palette, I'm going to change up my base colors from my usual brown, grey and navy and go with black, navy and tan for this fall's base colors. For accents, I'm feeling festive. Found a couple colorful fall shirts at Goodwill that inspired my accent colors of orange, mustard, plum, and pops of teal. Doesn't sound very appetizing, but I like the looks of it.


Basically, I want to look like a few pumpkins and autumn trees. I'm good with that.

My thoughts on function... It must be mostly "playdate" friendly, something I can lean over in and not fall out of. I need to haul a kid on my hip without revealing anything. I need to be able to run errands, walk to school, and clean the house in it too. I also want a few fun things just for date nights or girls night outs and church. Also must be easy to launder and comfortable and WARM.]

As in poetry or painting, thinking of a few adjectives you want to convey with your wardrobe helps frame the project. Just pick a couple. Classy. Artsy. Dignified. Approachable. Fun. Comfortable. Whimsical. Hip. Sporty. Beautiful. Modest. Stunning.

[I'm gonna go with artsy and approachable for this one. Just for fun. I feel a season of painting and writing coming on so maybe dressing that way will help set the mood and inspire me. On the other hand, I could just duct tape a sign to my butt that says "stay-at-home mom, likes to paint, new in town, needs good new friends."]

Also, remember that designing a capsule wardrobe is not piecing together a few perfect outfits. It is thinking about what items do I enjoy that can be paired well with each other to make many different outfits. Think of it on a bigger picture level. What can I mix and match and have fun playing with and layering?

[Example: I found that my flowy teal sweater pairs great with each of my colorful babydoll tops. It's just the right hue and length and shape. Voila! One sweater, lots of different looks. Same with my dresses and flats for warmer days can become more like tunics layered with sweaters and leggings and boots. Some people achieve different looks very well with a belt. I'm just not that good.]

This all may seem silly to you. But for me, asking myself these questions helps me be intentional with my style, choices, and colors. Gives me an idea of how I might narrow down to 33 items. Also helps me remember that creativity is often sparked with constraints. I dress so much better when I do Project 33. I'm looking forward to getting my artsy-fall-tree-(huggin)-mama wardrobe all set!

Here's another version I scribbled out and then revised. Obviously, I think on paper. I have no brains otherwise. Some of you will probably skip the list and sketch entirely, but it helps me a lot.

IMG_2652  IMG_2684

Remember, you are just sketching it out, listing it out rough draft style. Start with things you know you need. Or start with four of your base pieces in base colors in tops/bottoms. Or if you work backwards like me, start with a few of your colorful accent pieces like a colorful top and scarf. No matter how, just start. And remember, this stage of the game is just on paper.

Have fun! And as Ander's favorite song goes... "Shine bright like a diamond!"

Keep me posted on how your capsule is getting along!


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