Creating a Minimal Wardrobe
I’m getting ready to pack for a small family vacation sans husband, and I am remembering how I used to spend so much time standing in my closet on any morning, staring at my clothes and feeling like I had nothing to wear. I felt like nothing went with anything. Most of the clothes didn't fit right, so I didn’t feel like wearing them anyway. Most of them were bought because they were a good deal- they were on sale, or better yet, clearance!
Or, worse, I bought them when I was out shopping and I couldn’t find anything that I really liked, but I couldn’t stand to leave without something for my time, so I bought something. Am I the only one who does this? I would spend an hour or more walking around looking at stuff and not find anything I love, but still want to buy something because, Hello! I’m shopping!, and I would come home with mediocre things to take up more space in my closet.
The only time I really loved my clothes was when I was about to take a trip. Are you with me on this? If I have to pack a suitcase, all the sudden I would be like, Oh, I want to wear this. And this. And this…The only problem was that nothing mixed and matched, so I had to bring everything. And guess what would happen on my trips. I wouldn’t wear half of it.
Well friends, going minimal on my wardrobe has been the best thing EVER. Seriously. Now, I always know exactly what I’m going to wear. My closet is always clean. If I go shopping, it is to buy specific pieces to enhance my wardrobe, not to buy something on sale.
This is good for budgeting. When it comes to managing money, it pays to remember that we should only spend money when we feel good, not to feel good. This is what spending money on paper first means. Go to the mall with an exact amount of what you decided to spend, and stick to that.
But better than being good for the budget, having a minimal wardrobe has been a stress reliever + a time saver for me. Today I want to teach you how to have a minimal wardrobe so that you can feel that freedom when you get dressed every morning too. I don’t want you to go out and spend a bunch of money. In fact, it might be a good idea to not go shopping at all until you find your style.
You will need time to clean out your closet, time to learn your personal style, and then you can build your wardrobe.
Clean out your closet
I wrote a post on decluttering here. It would be a good idea to start there. The first decluttering step is to do your closet.
- remove everything
- get rid of what you don’t LOVE
- organize by season
- replace current season
- store later seasons in back of closet
It’s pretty basic. Clean out your closet so you can asses what you have. Remember, we need to know where we are before we can move forward. Clean it out + make some space. What I find works really well is to pull everything out and then to take a break. Come back when you have 30-45 minutes to go through it all uninterrupted. Try to go through it quickly. They are just clothes. They are very replaceable.
Get rid of everything that doesn’t fit perfectly or that you don’t love. Make sure you love everything in your closet. Organize it by season, and put the current season in front so you can see what your options are. Stick everything else in the back or up top.
Find Your Style
To successfully have a minimal wardrobe, you need to know what you are comfortable wearing. You need to find your style. There is a book on this called, Style Statement: Live by Your Own Design, by Danielle LaPorte. I have not read it yet, so it’s not a ‘must read’ to have a minimal wardrobe. It is on my book list though.
- wear the same thing for 2 weeks
- style, not fashion
- start a list on your phone
I think the best way to find your style is to wear the same thing for a long period of time. I don’t mean the same shirt and the same pants. I’m talking about the Steve Jobs style. White shirt and denim jeans. I wore stripes everyday. I still love stripes, but what I found was that stripes are sometimes too fun for my serious nature.
Listen to yourself. Maybe you will miss the chaos. Maybe you like having a lot of stuff. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as you like it. Listen to yourself and find your style. That’s what is lasting. Style, not fashion. Fashion is trendy and will be out before you know it. Style is timeless. Style is your personality. Let it show.
I do recommend starting a list on your phone of the items that you wish you had. This makes shopping so much easier and it opens up the opportunities to find good pieces at thrift stores. If you know exactly what you’re looking for, it tends to manifest easier.
Build Your Wardrobe
- weekday outfits
- weekend outfits
- seasonal outfits
- make sure you love it
My wardrobe consists of 6 weekday outfits + 4 Sunday outfits. I wear the same thing every single day, and then I rotate my Sunday’s. I absolutely love it. It’s freedom to me, but again, listen to yourself.
If you feel a bit frantic like that isn’t enough clothes, try doing a 10 x 10 challenge to boost you. You pick ten items and wear them over the course of ten days. For example, 2 pairs of shoes, 4 tops, 2 bottoms, 1 dress, and 1 top layer. Pick your items in 30 minutes or less. You can add accessories because they don’t count. You can read more about this here. This is a fabulous way to pack for a trip.
Your minimal wardrobe is seasonal, so really, you are only wearing the same clothes for 3 months. That makes it more do-able. I actually don’t get tired of wearing my clothes, but I swap them anyway so that when that season rolls around again, my clothes still feel exciting to me. I store off season clothes in the back of my closet.
Your clothes must excite you. When you put them on, you need to feel your feminine self. I think it’s important to have that connection, like you can go do anything because you are wearing a favorite outfit. Make every outfit your favorite. Make sure you love it all.
If you take the time to clean out your closet + find your style + actually create a simple minimal wardrobe, you will notice that your mornings flow a little better. You won’t have to think about what you’re going to wear. You won’t have to try on a million outfits before deciding on one you don’t really like anyway. Everything will fit perfectly, and you will love wearing everything because you created it. It’s yours. It’s you.
And when you walk into a room full of people, you will shine and we will know exactly what to expect from you. Your style should be a part of you. Let yourself show up in your style.