A Minimalist Wardrobe

08/19/2010

(Photo source)

Is that possible?

I had my girlfriends over the other night, as we were excitedly discussed prospects of starting up a fashion blog together.  More to come on that later… 😉

One of the things that we did was go through every article of clothing/accessory in my closet.  I felt like I was on TLC’s “What Not to Wear” as I show them article after article of clothing – explaining what I like or dislike for each item.  Fun times.

My friends couldn’t believe that I had such a limited amount of clothing (I took that as a compliment! ;)).  Which re-affirms my belief that having a minimalist wardrobe can still be fun!

Now, I always call myself an aspiring minimalist because I think of it as a journey.   By no means, do I call myself a “full minimalist” since I do not own 500 items, 100 items, or 50 items.  Nor do I plan on counting the number of items I own, any time soon.

In fact, I easily have over 100 items in my wardrobe alone, and it’s not the end of the world.   I am working on making my wardrobe more efficient and functional.  I do this by donating/gifting clothes that I no longer use, and limiting my purchases.

My Guidelines for a (more) Minimalist Wardrobe:

  • I no longer wander malls/stores for “fun”.
  • I don’t buy stuff just because it’s on sale anymore.
  • I make sure that if I buy something, I have to love it.

PS.  I actually don’t own a dresser, and I do store my clothes in a cube-shelf similar to that in the photo above.  This wasn’t any minimalist decision, but just me being cheap and then I never went back. 😛

What are your thoughts on a minimalist wardrobe?  How do you determine what makes the cut in your wardrobe?

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12 Responses to “A Minimalist Wardrobe”

  1. Annie Says:

    I am working to minimize my wardrobe. Earlier this year I reduced it by half, then turned all of the hangers backwards to see what I wear this year. What I don’t wear in a year will be eliminated as well…

    I can now find my favorite clothes much easier, and have revisited old favorites I forgot I owned, or thought I lost! I have tossed even more as they have worn out, and my full 4 seasons’ worth of clothes is in my closet with none in storage containers.

    It makes life so much easier this way!


  2. I’m SO with you! I do have clothes that I can get rid of, but I like to re-purpose or recycle them a lot, so I just can’t get rid of them. Many are years old. I do exactly what’s on your list:

    1. Don’t go to the mall (I really don’t shop)
    2. Don’t buy stuff just because it’s on sale
    3. Conversely, I only buy stuff that I absolutely love (and it’s on sale or I find the best bargain for it)–thankfully, there’s not that much that I love

    I’d add a #4 to say that if I can make it myself out of things around the house, then all the better.

    For me it’s not so much minimalism as it is pairing down and not consuming so much. I like your minimalism efforts–I think de-cluttering and living sparingly is good for the mind and soul. 🙂

  3. Hasina Says:

    My wardrobe is minimal too 🙂
    It’s true that minimalism is a journey but I think it’s ok to call yourself a minimalist even if you own more than 500 things 🙂 I don’t think I’ll ever own less than 500 things (including stuff I share with the boyfriend) because my boyfriend doesn’t share my enthusiasm for minimalism and I have to respect that. Plus once you start a family, it’s basically an impossible goal (mostly because you’ll have other priorities than paring down).

    I think minimalism has become an intimidating concept because all the examples we see are a bit extreme (100 things, etc.) but when we think about it, the examples are mostly single males living in urban areas and they aren’T representative of the vast majority’s realities.

    I believe that minimalism is a state of mind and once you’ve decided that you’re a minimalist, well… you’re a minimalist. The behaviour (buying less, decluttering, paring down, etc.) will comme naturally after that. Of course someone who calls himself or herself a minimalist and keeps on shopping and accumulating stuff is delusional haha.

    I think minimalism is mostly about being true to yourself (and really, when we are, we’ll realize that we don’t need a lot of things 🙂

  4. Young Mogul Says:

    The things I would add to the list that apply to my wardrobe are:

    1. I don’t buy similar items
    2. I have stopped buying trending items and only buy classics that I can have for years
    3. I mainly shop the clearance racks now. If I see something I like, I wait for it to hit clearance. If my size is not available when its on clearance, I take it as a sign it was not meant for me to own.

  5. Jersey Mom Says:

    Because we do live in an older home (built in 1960), closet space is very limited. My husband and I share a closet (not one of those walk-in closets). So I have a total of 3 hanging shelves of clothes plus a few jackets and dresses.


  6. Annie – That’s a great idea to turn your hangers :). It’s definitely easier sifting through less clothes!

    Creature Gorgeous – That’s a great addition to the list. One of my goals is to learn how to sew so I can make basic things – like bedsheets, or curtains. Maybe even clothes, one day! “Minimalism” is just a title/name, and I associate it with my efforts of living simpler.

    Hasina – I agree with all your points. It’s different for everyone, and as long as you reach that peaceful state of mind – it doesn’t that much how many articles of things you have.

    Young Mogul – Good call on the classic items. I realized that most of my college clothes were (at one point) trendy and of poor quality.

    Jersey Mom – That’s really cool! I guess it just goes to show how much more driven to consumerism our society has become since the 1960’s. I think most houses built today have at least a walk-in-closet in the master bedroom, if not more.

  7. Miss Guimba Says:

    Hello! Nice to be back again. Hasina has great points. I agree with her. It’s not how much you own that makes you a minimalist; it’s your way of thinking. Since I’ve embraced this lifestyle, I’ve marveled how I can go to a mall and NOT buy anything. It’s an amazing feeling. I’ve tried to minimize my wardrobe, too. I got rid of half of what’s in my wardrobe currently and found that I still have too much!I couldn’t get rid of my clothes for work yet because I just might get back to the workplace, so I put them in storage, but this post made me think whether I could minimize those work clothes some more. Thanks, Aspiring Minimalist!


  8. Miss Guimba – Welcome back! 🙂 I agree, even when I venture into a mall now, I seldom buy anything. It’s not so much that I go in not wanting to buy something, it’s just that I don’t see anything worth buying that would actually add value to my life.

    I think The Everyday Minimalist has a great post on what you need for a minimal work wardrobe, so check her out!

  9. Annie Says:

    Yeah, EM is great! I love her posts!

    It is fun to go to the mall these days.. I take the kid (she turns 11 this weekend) and let her shop, but I may get something to eat for us or splurge for a visit to Starbucks while we are there but I can comfortably enjoy just looking without any desire to buy anymore!

  10. eternitarian Says:

    It’s good to read “aspiring” minimalists’ blogs because I am one too! 🙂 In fact, while I’m leaving this comment, I am at the same time drawing a diagram of what I want to have in my wardrobe. I nearly purged my entire wardrobe in the last two weeks and I really need something to wear soon (though I do realise I’m managing fine with those several items still in my wardrobe).

    On my piece of paper, I write the seasons as columns. Then I would draw shirts/tshirts/pants under each column. E.g. if a cardigan can be worn during fall of just between summer and fall or even fall and winter, then I will draw the cardigan in between the two columns. This is really fun! 🙂 I’m also adding numbers under each item so that while I don’t count one by one, I know how many items I have, and that just makes me admire the people who participate in Project 333 even more. 😀


  11. Eternitarian – That sounds like a good method to keep track of what you have. I would definitely want to complete a Project 333!

  12. InspirationFromYou Says:

    I love being minimal and I was finding tips on how to lessen the clothes in my closet. I like you advice, and I do have a few suggestions myself.

    However, I do want to point out an issue which most of us have: letting go of items that were expensive. I have trouble letting go of items that cost me a fortune, and I have trouble letting go of things that are recent or new. Another problem I have is that my mother and I exchange clothes to each other, and she always have something she does not want and I would want.. that gets to me!


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