As a recovering shopaholic, I would have never in a million years thought that I would be building a minimalist wardrobe. But recently my husband and I have been trying to focus on more life, less stuff and we just knew our closets needed to be downsized.
For as long as I can remember I have loved shopping and fashion. Shopping was a hobby for me and something I did a lot. A couple years ago I finally realized what it did to my wallet and knew I needed an intervention.
I made a pact with myself that for an entire YEAR I could not buy any new clothes (this was 2013). This was the start of breaking this expensive habit.
Since then I have been MUCH better than I used to, but still definitely buy too much. For awhile I shopped fast fashion and the clothes would barely last a season, and if they did I probably didn’t love them coming the following year.
So, next season would roll around and back to the mall I went. My closet slowly got out of control again, filled with clothes I never wore.
I started noticing a pattern of what I WAS wearing. There were a few items that I LOVED, that I had for years and still wore weekly. I decided I wanted a wardrobe FULL of classic items that I loved. Things that were versatile and good quality.
I have since made a point to only buy items that I absolutely adore, that would match a lot of the items already in my closet.
This has also cut down on my indecisiveness while getting dressed in the morning. Ever look in your bulging closet and think you have nothing to wear? Yeah, I’ve been there. There is a reason some of the most successful people in the world wear something similar every day, less time getting dressed, more time living and taking on the world! (Yes, that’s why Steve Jobs lived life in his jeans and black turtleneck).
This is just another step in my minimalism journey to get rid of clutter and live a life with less stuff. As I simplify and minimize my belongings I am already feeling calmer, happier and have more time, money and energy to do things that I truly care about.
I am still a work in progress, but here are my tips to help you get started building a minimalist wardrobe that you LOVE!
1. Determine Your Style
This was a tough one for me at first, because I thought that having a minimalist wardrobe meant only black, white and plain clothes. But it doesn’t have to mean that at all.
Although I do favor black and white, I love crazy patterns and have a thing for plaid pants. Building a minimal wardrobe has nothing to do with WHAT your style is, it is just being true to your style and paying more attention to versatile pieces of great quality.
Some people love floral dresses and bright tops, that is FINE, you do you girl!
Narrow in on what your signature style is and only buy things that fit your mix.
2. Purge Your Closet
Once you have narrowed in on your style purge anything that doesn’t fit. Toss anything that you don’t love, that doesn’t fit or that isn’t in good condition.
If you are unsure about an item think about it for a few days and try to see how many outfits you can use it with. Does it only go with that one skirt you have? If you don’t absolutely LOVE that outfit, out it goes!
I made it a goal to toss out at least half of the items sitting in my closet and am happy to report back I did just that!
I went through everything a few weeks ago and plan on doing it at least once more before we move next month.
3. Invest in Staples
This kind of goes against what I said about keeping shopping to a minimum, but in order to make any wardrobe work, you have to have some signature pieces.
Also, take note that creating that perfect style doesn’t need to happen over night. I am making it a goal to save up some moo-lah to buy some drool worthy staples for my closet, (think: perfect fitted blazer, vegan black pumps, eco friendly jeans), by the end of this year.
I want to spend the year searching and developing my own personal style and want to take time finding the RIGHT pieces for that style. After years of following fashion trends, I know it might take me some soul searching to find what I truly love.
4. Mix in Seasonals
The idea with a minimalist wardrobe is to have what’s called a capstone closet for each season. Some people limit it to 40 items, others only have what will fit in a suitcase. Just remember there are no rules, so just do you.
But if you take this idea, a good rule of thumb is ⅓ of your wardrobe should be transferable into the next season. So, when you are picking out those staple pieces, bonus points go to items that fit into more than one season!
Keeping this in mind when you are purging your closet or shopping for items to fill in some gaps, will also help keep your accumulation to a minimum as everything in your possession will have multiple uses.
This may seem like quite the unnecessary, daunting task to some and I would have been the last person my family would have guess to ditch my shopaholic tendencies, but once all that clutter is gone, I am guarantee there is a wonderful life waiting for me.
Check back soon!