Having a minimalist wardrobe might feel restricting or downright impossible. But I promise that there is freedom in restraints.
Hear me out. There are two ways you can take the minimalist wardrobe thing.
#1 You have really simple clothing items that are minimal in pattern and color.
#2 You can have a minimal wardrobe in the sense of having fewer items.
I am going to be covering #2 today for the most part. Here is why this is so important.
- When you have fewer clothes to look through you can ACTUALLY SEE each clothing item for what it is.
- You can get dressed faster.
- You can have a better experience in the morning.
- You have more time to do the things you love.
- You can wear your clothes way more often because you don’t have a closet full of things that you haven’t worn in years.
- When you wear something more it becomes a favorite and not just another item that is sitting in your closet collecting dust.
This post is all about creating a real life minimalist wardrobe, not one that feels unattainable and unrealistic.
What A Minimalist Wardrobe Is Not
Minimalist wardrobe myth #1 – There is no set number of pieces of clothing you have to stay within. While I do think we should get by with less it does not mean you have to go down to practically nothing. Be intentional about the things you keep and get rid of.
Minimalist wardrobe myth #2 – It doesn’t have to be a neutral color palette. You don’t have to be plain and boring. A minimal simply means getting by with the minimum amount. It has nothing to do with color. So if you like bright and bold but you want a minimalist closet you can absolutely do that.
Know The Things You Love
The style I like has changed over the years and so will yours. Jeans are my paint of choice and I add style with my tops. Currently, in 2019 it seems that the early 90s are coming back and I have no intention of caving to the trends. I have a feeling most people feel the same way about the style they grew up in.
Know what you love and stick to that. Don’t apologize for not wearing something just because it is in style. Pinstripes and geometric shapes. Yep, not going to do it.
Several of my jobs as a teen were at clothing stores believe it or not. I was far from the highest in sales. But I always wanted to help customers be happy with what they bought. If they did not seem comfortable in the clothing I told them not to get it. You don’t reach for something in your closet that makes you feel uncomfortable.
That is what I want you to think about when you look through the pieces hanging in your closet deciding what stays and what goes. When you have that item on how do you FEEL? Frumpy, out of style, embarrassed? Or do you feel comfortable, fabulous, and ready to show off what you’ve got? I think you know what to go for.
12 Month Rule To Keep A Minimalist Wardrobe
Clear out what you have not worn in the last year. Be completely honest with yourself. Ask yourself why you have not worn it. Did you just not like it or did it make you feel uncomfortable? Maybe it did not fit right.
I made the mistake of buying t-shirts that were so thin you could see my bra through them. Even if I wore them at home I was still self-conscious. I felt awful even when no one was around. Get rid of items like that.
Exceptions to the 12-month rule.
There are only a few exceptions to when it is ok to ignore this rule.
First is if you are keeping something like project clothes for messy things. BUT remember that you only need one or two tops and bottoms for this. You don’t need 5 different pairs of paints for painting.
Second, you can keep something longer if it is a seasonal item or special event type of piece. But if you have passed that piece of clothing up for something else more than twice get rid of it. It is easy to take up a lot of space for the “someday” that never comes.
Organize Your Closet By Color AND Type Of Clothing
Ok so this might seem like a lot but hang with me. No pun intended.
If you have a walk-in closet organize your clothes by type of item. Sweatshirts, long sleeves, short sleeves, etc…
THEN organize those by color. You can start with neutral colors then the brighter more accent-type colors.
This will help you put your outfits together much faster because you can go right to the section you need and then quickly find a color.
You might be thinking ok but what if it is multi-colored? Look at that time from a distance and ask yourself what is the first color you see? Put it with those colors.
A Minimalist Wardrobe Can Breath
Get down to a level of clothing that you feel like you can breathe. If you are in a closet that is so full you have a hard time finding things then you need to cut back. You don’t have to be so reduced that you have a capsule wardrobe. A good gage is if your hangers have a little wiggle to them and you do not have to use your body weight to move the row that is hanging. Not jam-packed.
Be totally honest with yourself and get rid of the things you don’t really like.
How To Get Started
If you are wondering how to create a minimalist wardrobe, know this, a simple minimalist wardrobe does not have to be difficult. You can do this with a few simple steps. When you have time you need to go through everything in your closet, drawer, and hangers and get rid of anything you haven’t worn in the last year. It is so important that you start with a fresh slate that is not cluttered and full of items you don’t love.
This is where the purge comes into play.
Purging Your Closet
Here are a few tips to help you get started clearing out your current wardrobe.
Get a trash bag for things that are not donatable. And another bag for clothes that you can take to Good Will. If you hold an item and picture yourself in it and you immediately feel out of place or like you are not confident in that clothing item DO NO KEEP IT.
Only keeping what you love. Even if you don’t go out in public often (work at home wife life) when you feel confident at home you will get far more accomplished than if you just wore any old t-shirt that you don’t care what happens to it.
Ok ready to clear out your closet? Get to it. Donate to Good Will or a local thrift store. Or donate to family members. Don’t keep things that are too small, too big, damaged/stained/ripped, or have holes in them. Keep items that you can wear over and over again.
Tips To Store Your Clothes In Your Minimalist Closet
Hang as much as possible! Hands down. I used to think this wasn’t necessary but hanging clothes gives you easy access to all of your clothes. In a drawer or tasking them on shelves, you have to pull the one you want and lift the others. Hoping you can get what you want without destroying the whole stack.
- If you don’t have a dresser This three-stack plastic drawer tub is awesome for socks, underwear, bras, and tanks. It takes up very little space and holds a lot of clothes!
- Also this multi-tank hanger. (technically it’s for bras but it’s awesome for hangers too) has been a game-changer to store multiple tank tops in a much smaller space.
- A scarf hanger is a lifesaver in the winter months.
Making Clothing Purchases
Creating a minimalist wardrobe does not mean you can’t buy any more clothes. It just means that you need to be more intentional about what you do buy. And make sure you don’t buy clothes on a whim, only the thing you love. You would also need to be willing to swap out the old for the new. Don’t let your closet fill up again in a year or two and completely lose the items you love because you can’t see them through the new items.
Let me also say that newness wears off. It can be tempting pt buy a cute top because you want to feel good but that won’t last forever. Think about that the next time you are tempted to buy something that you don’t truly love.
Don’t keep things for fear of not having enough. This one is hard if you grew up when money was an issue or in a home where things like “that costs money” or “or we can’t afford that” are said often. Knowing the value of money is important. But we can take it too far.
What In The World Is A Timeless Piece
This a word I see thrown around a lot but that can feel like a big task. But really people are meaning that they try to choose items that will be in style for a long time. Then they build their wardrobe around those Items.
- A silky white tank top could dress up a pair of pants or be paired with a skirt.
- A pair of leather boots that are gray could be worn with anything and if they don’t have crazy designs on them they will be in style for years.
- A good pair of jeans that mesh with your overall personal style.
- A simple black dress for any occasion.
Timeless pieces are meant to be around your personal style and the items of clothing that you can spend a little more on because they will be in your capsule wardrobe for quite some time.
You might feel like you have to keep that shirt because you don’t like because you are afraid you might need it someday. Women tend to think scarcity and our security mechanism tells us that we don’t have enough. Even if we know that is not true.
After I have gone through literally everything and purged what I did not wear or was only keeping because someone gave it to me. I have also noticed when I get rid of clothes that I did not feel comfortable in and I was only keeping them because I was afraid of not having enough. I started to like the other clothes I had even more because I didn’t have the other clothing items there to cloud my vision of the clothes I had.
That might seem strange but try it. You will see what I mean.