The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Wardrobe
Why would anyone want a minimalist wardrobe? Isn’t the idea is that you have so many clothes that you can be prepared for any event or any season?
Sure, in a perfect world we would have the perfect outfit sitting in our closet waiting for its long-awaited debut. The problem is trends change, clothes change, and most importantly we change.
So that dress you have been holding onto forever for that museum opening is still collecting dust.
The worst part about this scenario is that if you were going to a museum opening more than likely, you will want to go buy yourself something new anyways!
So getting back to that minimalist wardrobe… the truth is you already have one right now in your closet and you don’t even realize it.
We have a habit of choosing to wear the same clothes over and over again. So, in reality, you already have the skillset to have a minimalist wardrobe.
So what exactly is a minimalist wardrobe you may be asking yourself?
A minimalist wardrobe is where you only keep high-quality, perfectly fitting, neutral pieces of clothing that can easily be mixed and matched with each other. The overall goal is that you would have a minimal amount of clothing to choose from daily making your life easier and simpler.
Before diving into how to have a minimalist closet. Let’s first dive into why you should want one.
- You will have more time. With fewer clothes to sift through, the faster it will be to find what you’re looking or.
- You will spend less money. You will stop thoughtlessly adding items to your wardrobe on shopping sprees. Everything you bring into your wardrobe will now be a wiser and more conscientious choice.
- You will have less laundry. You will be consistently doing a load of laundry a week, or else you will be out of clothes, BUT just one load on average once a week versus several! Can you imagine?
- You will reek of confidence. When your minimalist wardrobe is only composed of long-lasting things and fits you perfectly, you will feel confident in every single outfit you put on.
People have this preconceived notion that the more they own the more successful they are.
This also falls in direct correlation with our clothes. A collection of twenty pairs of boots makes one feel that they are doing “OK” in life. In reality, those twenty pairs of boots could have maxed out a credit card damaging themselves for their more important future goals.
Whether you are a shopaholic, have to keep up with the latest trends, or consistently partake in retail therapy, then aiming for a more minimalist wardrobe might be a good step in a great direction to control your shopping habits.
Now for the other type of clothing hoarders, the I can’t get rid of anything for that one day, the I spent money on these, or the I can’t get rid of these clothes out of guilt, then aiming for a more minimalist wardrobe might exactly what the doctor ordered.
Ready to figure out how to create your minimalist wardrobe? Follow these easy steps below!
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O1 | DECLUTTER YOUR CLOTHES
A simple first step is to go through your closet and purge what needs to be donated right off the bat. Think about what you haven’t worn within the last year and put your excuses aside.
YES, YOU PAID MONEY FOR THESE CLOTHES… the money is already gone.
YES, THEY MAY HAVE BEEN A GIFT… the person who gave you that shirt for your birthday is not going to see you enough to know you still don’t have it.
YES, YOU MAY WEAR IT ONE DAY IN THE FUTURE… but you also might never wear it one day in the future.
Remember you can donate and or sell these clothes as well, they are not going to go to waste. Recycle and pass them on to someone who will love these clothes the way you once did.
02 | TRY THE 30 HANGER METHOD
Pull every single clothing item out of your closet and only leave 30 empty hangers hanging in your closet. Pick your top 30 clothes you always wear and hang them up.
More than likely you will have tons of leftover clothes!
This is your true minimalist wardrobe test.
Fold all the remaining clothes that didn’t make it to the hangers set them aside somewhere, out of sight. If you find yourself looking for any clothes you set aside, go ahead add those pieces back to your wardrobe.
After a month if you still have a lot of clothes you never added back into your wardrobe, then it’s safe to say a lot of them can be donated.
Most of us are already wearing a minimalist wardrobe, but we just can’t tell with overstuffed closets!
21 Year Round Capsule Wardrobes
03 | FIND YOUR ESSENTIAL PIECES
A minimalist wardrobe needs to be easily mixed and matched with one another. Meaning one top can be paired with almost every pair of bottoms you own.
If you have too many items where it only works with one other piece in your closet, you will end up with a huge closet of stuff that rarely gets worn.
Keep the following in mind when buying new clothes for your new minimalist wardrobe.
- Quality over quantity. Buy one higher quality tank top that you know will hold its shape after being washed and that will last for a long time, versus a few $6 tank tops.
- Make sure you can mix and match it. Don’t buy a purple shirt that will look good with one pair of jeans and not your shorts, or leggings. Look for a shirt you know will look good with all the bottoms you wear and vice versa.
- Buy something that is flattering. Learn your shape, try on new clothing you never thought to try on before to see if you have been choosing the wrong types of clothes all along.
- As one piece comes in one goes out. If you are buying something new for your minimalist wardrobe then try to take something out in its place.
There are a few key basic essential pieces you should try to have in your capsule wardrobe to get started.
- Light wash jeans.
- Dark blue jeans.
- Black pants, jeans, or jeggings.
- Casual button-up shirt.
- Casual T-shirt.
- Casual tank top.
- Black jacket.
- Basic long sleeve.
- Tennis shoes.
- Dressier shoes.
Here are some great start capsule wardrobes to get you inspired on the key pieces you want in yours!
04 | MINIMIZE YOUR WARDROBE EXTRAS
Besides our actual wardrobe, we also can learn to minimize a lot of the other things we wear regularly.
01 | PAJAMAS. We collect so many varieties, get so many as gifts, and hold onto the pajamas with the holes until they can no longer be classified as pajamas.
02 | SOCKS, UNDERWEAR, & BRAS. Have you ever experienced the joy of having your underwear match your bras? It is pretty amazing and makes it so simple to grab what you need in the morning. To make this easy buy all the same colored underwear and bras.
03 | BATHING SUITS, COVER-UPS, TIGHTS, & SPANX. Only keep what you need. Two bathing suits are perfect, one pair of tights seems sufficient, just make sure you aren’t holding onto fishnet stockings for Halloween year after year if you never wear them. It is OK to let things like this go.
04 | SHOES. With a new minimalist wardrobe, you will want to also be able to coordinate your shoes to match this new wardrobe. Keep in mind neutral shoes are the way to go instead of a pair of shoes that one will only be able to match with one specific outfit.
05 | PURSES & ACCESSORIES. Stick to your everyday bag and one evening neutral bag that will go with every outfit. Same for your jewelry stick with simple pieces that can work with a casual to sophisticated outfit all in one.
Having a minimalist wardrobe will make your life so much easier.
Your closet will be so easy to navigate. You know you have multiple outfit choices. You will have pieces that only make you feel your best self.
If this idea of changing your busting at the seams closet to a super simple wardrobe sounds like a dream to you, then it is time you go grab some trash bags and get to purging.
5 thoughts on “The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Wardrobe”
I need help with decluttering my whole house.
I here you! I feel like my house takes over most days. Just focus on one project in one room until that room is complete. If you start to dwell on the fact the entire home is cluttered it may prevent you from ever getting started. Progress is better than no progress!
Thanks for this well-written article. It is by far the least confusing one I have come across; it seems that it’s common for authors of these types of articles to go down the subjective route – most of which don’t work for me.
I recently went through a nightmare of a move that I think scared me straight. I am (well, was) buried in clutter, so much that I wasn’t even able to estimate how much I owned that was truly worth keeping. That being said, I was terribly disorganized, storing random things in whichever room had space. I had clothes stored in multiple rooms and closets, and I was astounded by how much I had once I rounded everything up, all acquired within the past 10-20 years. I probably filled 4 ginormous boxes after donating two.
My big problem – aside from being a hoarder – is the COST of clothing. Nice clothing is expensive and it’s very time-consuming to locate when one is on a budget – even moreso when it come to finding clothes that one loves and that fit properly. All too often I have found myself settling on something less than ideal, hence the stockpile.
I have clothes I adore that are 3 sizes too small, and it isn’t the hoarder in me that insists on keeping them – it’s the sensible, cost-conscious part of me determined to crash-diet for 6 months.
Yeah, I’d say that’s the most difficult aspect of hoarding for me; the cost of replacing things. Take a yellow Sharpie, for example (my least favorite color). I might use it only once every couple of years, but it’s there if I want to use it and saves me the $1.79 or so it would cost to replace it, which would be, ohhhh, $17.90 over the next 20 years lol. Now apply that cost to a thousand other things I rarely use – like a paper-hole puncher – but eventually do. Somewhat paradoxically, hoarders are masters at rationalization!
Anyway, I do realize that I have more paring down of my space-hogging wardrobe to do….somehow I find the smaller clothes I love as incentive to lose enough weight to wear them again….but wherever I should land on the scale, pants that lack hips (or hipness) have gotta go. 😉
Thank you Laura! I agree that a lot of articles about simplifying wardrobes can be a bit all over the place, I am glad mine was a little more to the point! The cost of clothing is a real thing. I currently do not have the extra funds to go out and replace my wardrobe. Even piece by piece it gets pricey. I do realize that even though my closet is down to probably 30 pieces of clothing the pieces I have kept are my old clothes and I am itching to replace them with fresh new better quality pieces. I think the best course of action is to research exactly what we want in our wardrobes down to how many socks to pajamas to shirts to jackets. Pre-plan outfits with those pieces for a typical week and the select special occasions. Prioritize what to purchase in what order and make it a goal to buy a new piece or two a month until the collection is complete. The less thoughtful we get with purchasing clothes (aka the cute shirt you just had to have at Target for $25 and only wore two times) the harder it is to let them go due to the financial guilt we’ve placed upon ourselves. I seriously believe that this strategy takes discipline and if it can be mastered we could really get in control of our clothes before they control us!