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When less really is more


Laura Morel takes on the capsule dressing challenge, Project 333, in a bid to curb her clothing obsession.


If you’re like me, a complete fashion addict, the idea of a capsule wardrobe can be terrifying. By definition it means limiting yourself to a few essential items that should never go out of fashion, interplaying these with more seasonal pieces. In an effort to curb my spending I stumbled across a capsule dressing challenge called ‘Project 333’, which is creeping its way into closets around the world. With fashion moving at such a fast pace it’s hard to imagine that less could mean more, but it turns out the biggest trend this year could be going without!

Project 333 is the ultimate test in decluttering your wardrobe and getting to grips with a clothing obsession. The aim is to make fashion choices simpler, freeing up time, money and reducing worry. The rules are simple, select thirty three items to wear exclusively over the period of three months, including accessories. The kicker? There is to be NO SHOPPING during the whole of this time! As painful as it may sound, there’s a lot you can learn by embracing a capsule approach to dressing.

What do you love? Select your capsule collection by first picking out what you love. What are those pieces which you’re always gravitating to, irrespective of trends and which work for every occasion? Build your wardrobe around these, looking at what will complement and intermix. As we move towards fall I’m pulling my suede biker jacket and throwing a dependable designer handbag into the mix.

Black or white The basis of any good wardrobe is founded on basics, usually in black or white. We are led to believe that black is flattering and suits everyone but this is simply not true. As a dark blonde, black can wash me out and leave me feeling dull. So the foundation of my limited selection was multiple white basics (shirt, vest, camisole etc.). Invest in quality that will last through repeated wears. ​

Work to play You want to have garments that can easily transition between your working and social environments. As my work has a relaxed dress code it was easier for me to err on the side of casual, with some more formal pieces thrown in such as a soft blazer and some tuxedo trousers. My favourite transition garment is a good, crisp white shirt that works dressed up or down.

What can you live without? Only during a crisis like this can you truly assess your priorities, it’s like choosing what you would save during a fire! I’ve realised that I don’t value footwear much, a neutral pair of heels and some on-trend metallic loafers will serve me well. And as we move into these cooler months I limited my jewellery choices and opted for a more versatile printed scarf to bring my outfits to life.

Challenges like Project 333 are becoming more commonplace as people move towards a more sustainable future and embrace modest living arrangements. Dame Vivienne Westwood has been outspoken on the topic, stating that people should buy fewer clothes to help protect the environment, encouraging fashion followers to “buy less, choose well, make it last.” Investing in fewer, quality pieces to update our wardrobes each season will hopefully make clothing less disposable, and reduce fashion waste.

I’m guilty of being brainwashed by the industry as nothing feels quite as special as slipping into something new. Through Project 333 I have learnt to be more resourceful with my wardrobe, to rely on styling rather than splurging, which really is the lazy option. Thirty three pieces may not be enough to take me through the changeable Jersey summer but they’ve certainly made me realise the value in what I have.

Capsule pieces to get you started:

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Manner magazine; fashion and beauty in Jersey