Introducing the Minimalist Wardrobe

A Minimalist Approach to Style

Situation #1:
You open your wardrobe – it’s full of clothes, and yet you struggle to find something to wear. Eventually you settle on the same old trusty skinny jean/t-shirt combo (a version of which you’ve been wearing all week), while a whole portion of your wardrobe gathers dust. Although you feel comfortable in what you’re wearing, you don’t feel particularly stylish or well put-together.

Situation #2:
You’re shopping, there’s sale on and you find a sweater/dress/pair of trousers you quite like. You’re not 100% sold, but you know it won’t be there when you go back later so you decide to make the purchase. You go home and hang it in your wardrobe. The next time you go to your wardrobe, you reach for the sweater/dress/pair of trousers, but you realise you have nothing that really goes with it or it’s just not quite appropriate for the activity you have planned that day. Six months later you find the sweater/dress/pair of trousers in your wardrobe, tags still attached.

For many of us these are all-to-familiar situations. It’s a common problem – too much stuff, not enough of the right stuff, and far too much time and money wasted buying more of the wrong stuff. Consider the alternative: a carefully curated collection of clothes, all of which you love to wear and wear often, that work well together and that serve a purpose in your everyday wardrobe.

A Minimalist Wardrobe

Over the next five chapters, you will learn how to build your own minimalist wardrobe. This guide will help you develop a greater understanding of your personal style, eliminating the problem of having nothing to wear, while at the same time, making you more conscious and intentional in your purchasing choices.

A minimalist wardrobe has little to do with how many items you own or the style of clothes you choose. It is about having just the right amount for you and developing intuition when it comes to getting dressed and buying clothes.

Instead of quantity, the focus is quality, both in terms of how much you like a given item, and also in terms of the physical quality of the garment (i.e. material, fabrication, source etc.). By buying less, you’re able to buy better. This has the added benefit of being better for the planet. By buying better quality pieces that are timeless staples in your wardrobe, you move away from the throwaway trend-driven culture of fast fashion.

Five Steps to a Minimalist Wardrobe

Outlined below are five steps to developing a minimalist wardrobe. Each chapter in this guide will explore these steps individually and in detail.

  1. Develop your signature look: spend some time figuring out what your own personal style looks like, the core pieces that make up your everyday wear
  2. Identify the basics of your wardrobe: what are the core elements of your everyday look, take stock of what you already have and what you think you might need.
  3. Purge your current wardrobe: remove items that don’t actually fit with your personal style (as well as anything that’s worn out, that you don’t like etc.)
  4. Rebuild your wardrobe as a conscious shopper: After you’ve spent some time living with your wardrobe in it’s diminished capacity (i.e. don’t rush out and restock), take your time to make selective purchases when needed and when you find something that’s a perfect fit.
  5. Continually refine: This is an ongoing process, which will get more refined and intuitive the longer you commit to it. So experiment and learn from your mistakes. And start enjoying your wardrobe again!

Building a minimalist wardrobe is an ongoing process of editing and curating, and yours will evolve over time, so don’t be afraid to really spend some time in each stage and expect to explore some of these concepts again as you progress in developing your own personal style, minimalist wardrobe and attitude to consumption.

Continue to Step I: DEVELOPING YOUR SIGNATURE LOOK

image via A Piece Apart