Ready to build a minimalist wardrobe and look fabulous while doing so? Then this guide on building your own minimalist wardrobe is for you, babe. The quest for less clutter and a more curated collection of clothes starts here.
You might be thinking, “Does this mean I have to ditch my love for fast fashion brands?” Oh, honey, absolutely! Embrace ethical fashion and high-quality pieces that won’t have you running to the donation center every other month.
Let’s talk about essential items of clothing: A good pair of jeans, some versatile tank tops, and black pants that could give Audrey Hepburn a run for her money. Add an unstructured blazer for those pseudo-formal occasions and a sexy vegan leather jacket for when you’re feeling a bit more “Grease Lightning”.
How many clothes should be in a minimalist wardrobe?
Your minimalist closet isn’t about squeezing into a magic number of items—it’s about finding the key pieces that work with your body type and personal style. Stick to a neutral color palette, but remember to consider your base color – black, white, or navy – our trusted neutral colors. Trust me, there’s a lot you can do with less.
Confused about how to handle different seasons with a minimal wardrobe?
Your minimalist summer wardrobe can effortlessly transition to fall, winter, or spring with a few seasonal pieces. Got a little black dress? That’s your new best friend for special occasions and the grocery store because who says you can’t be fabulous while picking out avocados?
What are the benefits of building a minimalist capsule wardrobe?
Building a minimalist capsule wardrobe is about embracing fewer clothes, better-quality pieces, and reducing decision fatigue in your daily life. This isn’t about becoming an extreme minimalist – unless you want to be, of course. The aim here is sustainable living, a classic style, and the kind of great style that makes heads turn. Now, let’s get started. This is going to be one chic journey.
AN EASY-TO-FOLLOW GUIDE TO BUILDING A MINIMALIST WARDROBE:
Step 1: Block out time in your calendar!
Our first step — one that not even Susie Faux, the queen of the capsule wardrobe, would dare skip — is of utmost importance. You’ve got to sort out your current wardrobe, and this is a date with your closet that demands your full attention.
Depending on how many forgotten skinny jeans or last season’s statement pieces you’ve hoarded, this could take up an entire day, or even a weekend. And no, you can’t multitask this one, sweetie.
Your new item additions, your exploration into classic style, and even your journey to becoming an extreme minimalist, all hinge on this task.
So, clear your schedule and dedicate this time to sifting through your pieces of clothing.
This won’t just be a throw-out party. You’ll discover timeless pieces you forgot you had, find different ways to wear your existing clothing items, and might even decide to replace quantity with better quality clothes. So, take this time to reflect, learn more about your style preferences, and make fewer decisions with fewer options, but better ones.
As you carve out your own capsule wardrobe, remember, that every piece should be something you’re comfortable wearing, and this isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario. Different strokes for different people, right? So, get ready to pencil in this crucial wardrobe rendezvous in your calendar, because trust me, it’s going to be a game-changer.
Step 2: Get into the right mindset!
You blocked out the time, and now the big day is here. Now what?! First things first. Get in the right mindset. Have a good breakfast, make a coffee, put some makeup on, and do your hair.
Doing your makeup and hair will help, as you need to be feeling at your best when trying outfits. (We’ll dive deeper into this concept in step 6.) But for now, take my word for it and remain focused on your mission.
If you need some extra motivation or a reminder of why you’re doing this in the first place, read this post about minimalist fashion.
Step 3: Take all your clothes out of your closet!
That’s right. Clear some space to pile your items and take EVERYTHING out. No, not just the things you don’t like, don’t fit, or “don’t know how it got in there” stuff. Do you hear me? I said EV-RY-THING!!! You need to go through every single item to decide what will stay and what will go.
Step 4: Split your clothes into categories!
We’re all about the organization here, so let’s split this clutter into 5 main categories:
- Tops and Blouses
- Sweaters and Cardigans
- Bottoms (Jeans, Leggings, Pants, Skirts & Shorts)
- Dresses and Jumpsuits
Once you have it all laid out in an organized fashion, you’ll get some good minimalist wardrobe ideas.
Step 5: Go through every single item and put your favorites aside!
It’s good you’ve sectioned off your garb into categories, because, darling, it’s a great way to save you a little bit of sanity and a whole lot less time in the long run.
Now, let’s get handsy. Glide through each piece and put a pin in your ‘favorites’. These aren’t just the high-quality pieces or the latest trends that have caught your eye, but the tried and true items you’ve done live in and will continue to.
They could be anything – your army of versatile pieces, your trusty dress shirts, or even those new pieces you can’t wait to step out in.
Remember, the essence of building an extreme minimalist wardrobe is not just about owning less, but cherishing more of what you have. So, your favorites should be items you adore, items you reach for on repeat, and items that make you strut your stuff.
Don’t even think about slipping them on right now because, let’s face it, we already know they’re keepers! So this isn’t just about creating a minimalist wardrobe, as you’ll discover in this blog post, it’s about building the best way for you to express your style!
Step 6: Time to try on everything else!
This step is definitely the most time-consuming one, but it’s crucial for your minimalist wardrobe. You need to try your clothes in order to make the best decision about what to keep and what to get rid of. Talking from personal experience, when I was decluttering my closet, I realized that I almost parted away with some beautiful items that I wouldn’t know I still wanted to wear and really enjoy, had I not tried them on!
But don’t get me wrong. Don’t get sentimental and start keeping pieces because you have so many good memories with them, but won’t ever wear them again. That’s NOT our goal! Remember, we’re striving for minimalist wardrobe essentials here. We want to keep our staples that will pair well with the rest of our apparel and carry us through the seasons!
When trying items, notice how you feel about them.
- Are they the right fit?
- Do you still feel great about wearing them?
- Would you wear them in the next 3–6 months?
- And if you didn’t own this piece already, would you buy it right now? If the answer is NO, that’s your cue to let go.
If you truly want to create a capsule wardrobe consisting of clothing that you love and will happily style and re-style over and over again, you need to learn to let go of what’s no longer making you happy or serving you.
This is easier said than done, so be kind to yourself and take as much time as you need. Detaching is never easy, but it’s so healing and liberating!
Step 7: Split items that you’ve tried into two piles – a “maybe” one and a “goodbye” one.
Now you’ve tried on all your clothes, you should have a clear idea about what you want to keep and what you’ll part away with. Add the items that you will definitely hold onto, to your “favorites” pile. Now, make a pile of the garments that will go. And you should have a third pile left with the “maybe” pieces. We will talk about them further in step 9.
Step 8: Go through the unwanted items (the “goodbye” pile) to decide whether to gift, donate or sell them.
Put aside the pieces you want to gift and sell.
Now, for the leftover clothes that are damaged or too old, don’t throw them away! You can donate them to an animal shelter or a textile & fabric factory (search for clothing banks in your area, they are usually by big supermarkets). Alternatively, you can repurpose them into new clothes or items such as cleaning clots.
Step 9: Put everything back in your closet!
This is the best part!! After a long day of tidying, it’s so exciting to put everything back and discover all of this new extra space you’ve got!
Remember, the “maybe” pile we mentioned in step 7? Make room for it at the front of your wardrobe. This easy way means they will be in front of your eyes (so no excuses to not wear them) and you can see if you’re going to make the most out of them over the next 3–6 months.
Step 10: Repeat the process after 3 months.
You’re not done yet. Creating your best minimalist wardrobe is a process, and this process takes time. Sure, you could go through it once, chuck out half of it, and say you’re done. But until you actually experience day-to-day with the collection you’re left with, you won’t know if it’s done. Maybe you’re missing a staple. Perhaps there are still a couple of items that you were sure you were going to wear but have just been collecting dust since your last clearout. This is why you should be repeating this process every 3 or 4 months.
Not only this, but you also need to be mindful that we naturally accumulate things over time, even when we’re trying not to. So chances are that in 3 or 4 months, you’ll have a load of items you picked up along the way, and now you will have to decide whether or not to keep them. As the saying goes, “What gets measured, gets managed”. So keep an eye on what you get, and this includes gifts.
Once you’ve completed a few rounds thought out the year, you’ll be well on your way to mastering your closet and creating a minimalist wardrobe women would die for. If you’ve had a go and realized you’re missing some key items, then check this post about 19 Basic Pieces You Must Have In Your Closet to get those much-needed staples and see some minimalist wardrobe examples.
So girls, as we draw the curtains on this fashion-forward saga, remember that creating a more minimalist wardrobe isn’t about reducing your style, but refining it. The joy of a minimalist approach is that it’s as fluid and flexible as well-made garments.
Be it formal occasions or everyday wear, your collection of clothes can be tailored to your needs, your body shape, and your unique style.
We’ve laughed, we’ve shopped, and maybe even shed a tear or two – goodbye, sequined jumpsuit of last year. But remember, the capsule wardrobe concept isn’t a punishment. Rather, it’s a celebration of fewer clothes, better quality, and more room for creativity.
Your minimalist lifestyle should never feel like a straitjacket. It’s an ever-evolving dance of different outfits, versatile enough to weather different seasons and keep you looking stylish even during warm weather.
The beauty of minimalism lies in its simplicity.
The simple steps we’ve taken together are not the end but just the beginning. Every new purchase should be a conscious decision, adding value, not decision fatigue.
Whether you’re building a men’s minimalist wardrobe, or you’re a lady looking to update her minimalist style, keep in mind the classics – a white t-shirt, a versatile style trench coat, and a faithful pair of jeans. Dress them up, dress them down, they are your canvas.
So go forth and fashion on! Build your own capsule collection that reflects you, because the best things in life aren’t things, they’re moments and experiences. And nothing says ‘seize the day’ like a lean, mean, minimalist wardrobe.
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