Zen and the Art of a Minimalist Wardrobe

July 4, 2018

You can probably tell by now that I live for simplicity. I look for it in all things – both in terms of aesthetic and lifestyle design. But for years my wardrobe was far from simple. In fact I used to hate my wardrobe. It was boring, the clothes didn’t go well together, there was nothing I really liked, and I never had anything to wear. Every morning I’d waste precious time gazing listlessly at my clothes, hoping that inspiration would strike. It never did.

When I got into minimalism a few years ago, I made a beeline for my wardrobe, looking for clothes to get rid of. I was on a mission to free my home of clutter. And my wardrobe was full.of.clutter. So I would regularly go in and start dumping stuff out to sell or donate. But for all the decluttering I did, I never felt truly satisfied with my wardrobe. Shopping didn’t help either – most of the clothes I bought ended up going unworn, because nothing I owned went with them or they didn’t feel very “me”.

Back in 2014, I was psyching myself up for another (pretty much bi-weekly by now) wardrobe purge, and I decided that I needed a new approach: I needed a way to simplify my wardrobe once and for all. I decided to start from scratch and build my wardrobe from the ground up.

A Game-Changer

Instead of starting another vicious cycle of wardrobe decluttering and re-cluttering, I took an analytical approach to my personal style. My aim was to distill the look and feel of my ideal outfits – define my “uniform” – and then use that as the foundation to build a new, better wardrobe.

Using a mood board of images I’d collected from Pinterest, blogs, tumblrs, Instagram accounts etc. –images that I felt really encapsulated my desired style – I extracted the key elements that made up my outfits and themes that ran through my style choices (colours, cuts, proportions etc.). Turns out I pretty much exclusively gravitated towards monochrome & muted tones, separates, unfussy design, with a few androgynous pieces thrown in. So, that’s what made up my uniform.

Here are some examples of my uniform:

capsule-wardrobe-my-signature-look

Exploring my personal style made it easy to define the building blocks that would make up the foundation of my wardrobe. It was easy then to go back to my wardrobe and purge it of anything that didn’t “fit” with my look, as well as see the gaps that needed to be filled. It was so much easier to let go of items I’d been hanging on to as well. It’s not hard to let go of that red dress you’ve never worn, when you realize you actually don’t want it to be part of your look anyway (true story).

The first time I took a serious look at my wardrobe, I cut back my wardrobe pretty drastically. I ended up with just t-shirts, skinny jeans and a few jumpers. I loved it! It made it super easy to get dressed everyday, and I always loved what I was wearing. Since then I’ve continued to edit and refine my wardrobe, adding only pieces that I love and that fit with my style. I love having a tightly defined personal style and wearing my own “uniform” daily.

I’ve created a six-part guide to help you create your own signature look and build a minimalist wardrobe. If you’ve been struggling to get your wardrobe under control and you’d like to simplify this area of your life, you can check it out over here.

Bag via shopHAF.com

A little list of simple pleasures

1. Fresh flowers
2. Lie ins
3. Your morning coffee (or tea)
4. Sunshine
5. The scent of your favourite candle filling your home
6. Clean sheets
7. Your favourite song
8. A tasty meal shared with good company
9. A good book

We often focus on big successes and monumental achievements as a measure of happiness, but these events tend to be few and far between. I say we take the time to celebrate the little things in our everyday – life is full of simple pleasures if we pause to notice them.

Becca Haf
Inspired Simplicity: life + style

image via A Merry Mishap

To Simplify:

1. identify the essential,
2. eliminate the rest.

Discarding the excess in favour of the superior few – choosing quality over quantity – will always give us more time and space to enjoy what’s left: the very best of things.

Now, this isn’t about having or doing as little as possible, but it is about shifting focus from “more” for the sake of more, to “enough”. And this process is, of course, subjective – it’s up to you to define what is essential. You’ll know you have it right when you feel relaxed in your environment, when you’re able to balance time spent fulfilling obligations with doing things you love, when you feel less overwhelmed, frenetic and busy, and instead, happy and productive.

7 areas to simplify in 2016:

  1. Home – declutter your physical space, get rid of the things that you don’t love and/or need, so that you can better appreciate the things that you do.
  2. Personal style – assess your wardrobe and take the time to figure out what works for you, then lose everything that doesn’t. Do the same with your make up and beauty routine.
  3. Digital – clear your inbox (I know it’s a big one), spend less mindless time online and on social media, turn off devices, consider a social media detox.
  4. Time – consider your priorities, make fewer time commitments, practice saying no, leave space in your day so you’re not always rushing, create routines to streamline your life so that you have more time to think about and do the things that matter most to you.
  5. Mental wellbeing – make time for yourself, to be alone, to do nothing, meditate, practice self-care, practice being present.
  6. Physical health – commit to an exercise routine, simplify and clean up your diet, get enough sleep.
  7. Consumerism – buy less, buy better, choose quality over quantity (this applies to everything), want less, be conscious of what you bring into your home, think about environmental impact, reduce your waste, consider why you buy.

Becca Haf
Inspired simplicity: life + style

image via maryanne casasanta

Minimalist Christmas Wreath with MK Design

December 9, 2017

I love Christmas. It is unequivocally my favourite time of year. I love the cosy evenings at home, mulled wine and Christmas markets, the general sense of contentment and merriness floating around, and most importantly ALL THE FOOD. But as someone who liked to keep things fairly minimal at home, Christmas can be a bit of a challenge. I’m talking about decorations. I live in a small flat with NO built-in storage, so every year I find myself debating whether or not to have a tree (and all the bumph that comes with it).

I dread the thought of having all the decorations lingering in my wardrobe or under the kitchen sink or somewhere else equally UNHIDDEN for the other 48 or so weeks of the year. I’ve tried a 2ft tree (everyone laughed at it). I’ve tried making my own temporary paper decorations (everyone laughed at them). I’ve tried having a proper tree (I caved and threw away all the decorations within the year). Needless to say, I’ve yet to strike the balance between full on maximalist Christmas and scrooge. So you can imagine my excitement when I was invited by MK Design and Skandium to make a minimalist Christmas wreath at their 2017 Christmas workshop.


The workshop centred on creating a minimalist wreath using a brass ring from Strups and building it out with fresh foliage and wintery accents. It was wonderful to see all the different wreaths people created with the same base materials. I took lots of inspiration from other people at the workshop, but this is also something you can create at home.

If you want to make your own wreath, you will need:
  • Strups brass ring (or similar)
  • Seasonal foliage. I mainly used eucalypus and fir, along with and a few other bits, but the key I think is to choose for a variety of textures and colours.
  • Green floristry wire
  • Secateurs or heavy-duty scissors
  • Additional decorations or accessories of your choice. I used a dired lime, small bauble and leather cord, but pinecones, berries, twine etc. would also work well)
  1. Start by selecting your foliage. You’ll want to cut small-ish pieces, about the length of your hand.
  2. Layer together different colours and textures and when you’re happy with the composition secure them to the ring with a piece of floristry wire. Twist the wire at the back of the ring and trim any excess.
  3. Keep going until the wreath is full enough and you’ve created the desired look. Try to cover the wire as much as possible as you add more foliage.
  4. Lastly, add your finishing touches (again cover any wire or messy stems that are visible). I used a dried lime and bauble as accents, and added some leather cord to tie everything together. Use these accents to create a focal point on the wreath.

The finished product is so simple and so elegant – the perfect Christmas decoration. And the best thing about this wreath is that the Strups brass ring is so versatile that it can be used year round. I already have lots of ideas for how to use the ring after Christmas. No worries here about what to do with once the foliage dies!

The workshop took place at new Skandium townhouse in South Kensington and while we were there we were also given a tour of the space. The new Skandium retail concept spans four floors and perfectly showcases Scandinavian interiors as they are meant to be lived. It is a Scandi interior lovers DREAM. I highly recommend visiting if you’re nearby.

MK Design is an interior design studio, and founder, Mathilde, runs workshops throughout the year. Mathilde has impeccable taste so if you attend a workshop you can expect whatever you create to be a beautiful, elevated addition to your home. All the details for MK Design Workshops can be found here.

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A Little Break

June 3, 2015

a-blogging-break

I’ve been AWOL on the blog for a few weeks now, so for those wondering where I went, I wanted to check in and say I’m still here! I haven’t quit blogging! Over the past few weeks, I’ve started thinking about the direction I want to take this blog in. I haven’t been 100% happy with the content I’m putting out, so instead of continuing to publish content I don’t completely believe in, I’ve decided to take a break while I figured out exactly what I want to say.

I’ll be back properly in the next few weeks, on a regular schedule, but until then, thanks for bearing with me! I have lots of great things planned including a bit of a redesign. Can’t wait to share it with you. See you soon.

xx