A Minimal Wardrobe

Over the past two years, I’ve been changing my thinking about clothing.

I used to browse stores and purchase whatever fit and was on sale without any thought to my wardrobe and whether it was a practical piece to purchase. I had a closet full of clothes but ‘nothing to wear.’ Now that I have a minimal wardrobe getting dressed is easier!

Along with changing my way of thinking about purchasing, I’ve been simplifying the clothing I already had. Over the past two years {and two moves}, I have gone from a walk in closet with 2 racks full of clothing to a small shared closet in which my wardrobe only takes up about 1/3 of the space. I’ve purged my wardrobe every few months and have consigned, donated and even hosted a clothing swap and truly believe that less is more when it comes to clothing!

My spring/summer wardrobe:

Minimal-Wardrobe

  • 6 shirts {white/tan sweater, green top, grey tee, 3 black tees with different necklines}
  • 3 dresses {navy/cream stripes, red with white polka dots, black}
  • 2 pair capris {denim and khaki}
  • 1 pair khakis
  • 3 pair of dress pants {cream, grey, black}
  • 4 pair of jeans
  • 2 pair of shorts {denim, grey}
  • 3 cardigans {light green, black, green}
I also have a drawer with lounge clothing which contains:
  • 2 pair black yoga capris
  • 1 pair pajama capris
  • 2 skirts
  • 1 cotton dress
  • 6 t-shirts

Change your thinking when shopping for clothing:

  • Don’t browse for things you don’t need. I have 4 pair of jeans that fit me perfectly so I don’t even browse for jeans because I don’t need them.
  • Have a list and stick to it! Just like sticking to your grocery list to make the most of your grocery budget, have a list of clothing items you need or really want to make shopping easier.
  • Know what colors make you look bad. I know the colors that make me look washed out {like pale pink, tan and light yellow} so I avoid those colors.
  • Know the colors that you look amazing in. I look best in darker colors {black, grey, dark purple and green} so those are the colors I purchase.
  • Spending more on a quality piece is worth it. I’d rather spend $30 on one top that is a quality piece that looks fabulous on me and that I’ll wear over and over instead of purchasing 6 that I found for $5 on a clearance rack. Who cares if they were ‘only $5’ if you only wear the top once before donating it?

What kind of wardrobe do you have? Is your closet stuffed with clothing but you have nothing to wear, do you like a simple wardrobe or are you somewhere in between?

 

responses to “A Minimal Wardrobe” 27

  1. Before you mentioned the lounge clothes, I did not think you could possibly have enough tops. I am guessing you wear the t-shirts at home on days you do not go out?

    I bought too many Target t-shirts this summer when they had the $3 off coupons and were on sale for $5 or $6. They tend to be too thin or too low cut. I really want to minimalize my wardrobe more, but I guess I feel like I would be wearing the same things when I go to church and out for our other weekly activities (AWANA, gymnastics, etc). Does it bother you that people might notice you wearing the same things over and over?

    I am also still losing a little baby weight and nursing, so my wardrobe needs to work for that. Do you nurse in the dresses by wearing a cardigan over them?

    BTW, I love these minimalism posts! I enjoy getting a peak into your home and your minimalizing journey especially since you have children like me.

    1. I do wear the lounge clothes on the days I'm home all day which helps me get by with so few 'nice' clothes. I also do laundry about every 3 days so I could get by just fine on just 6 shirts if necessary! 🙂

      I typically go to church/activities 3-4 days a week where the same people see me and with 6 tops and 3 dresses, I have 9 different combinations which means I could go for 2-3 weeks without even repeating. However, I honestly could care less! I feel comfortable in all of my clothes and even if I had 10 more tops, I'd probably reach for the 6 I currently have anyways! And, I know we, as women, tend to worry about what we wear and people noticing but I honestly couldn't tell you what I wore to church less Sunday much less a friend of mine! {Of course, I don't care much for fashion, maybe other women pay more attention to other people's outfits than I do!} 🙂

      I am nursing and the dresses I have are v-neck dresses made out of stretchy fabric so I just push the v over and have a nursing tank under to accomodate nursing. I wear nursing tanks almost daily (even in Georgia in the summer!) and they make it possible to wear almost anything which helps stretch your wardrobe too! (The only thing I can't nurse in is dresses with un-stretchy fabric!)

  2. How funny that you posted this now. I was just thinking how my clothing tastes have sort of gelled over the last few years. I tend to wear the same things, or the same types of things over and over. I don't have a ton of clothes, but doing laundry last week made me think that I really want to minimize what I do have!

    1. I am somewhere between having a stuffed wardrobe and a minimal one. I do need clothes for different things (work, casual and going out) so I can't go too minimal. I also love clothes and accessories so wouldn't want to go too minimal! I do declutter regularly though and I do try to avoid buying things that I already own (do I REALLY need another pair of black trousers!). I also try to avoid buying things that won't go with anything. I do agree that you should go for quality over quantity. Whenever I declutter I find that it is the cheap items that go because they look faded from washing or they are not as flattering as my more expensive clothes.

  3. I'm in between right now but working towards simple! I have been a weight loss journey this summer (since June 20) and am down 21 pounds so far! I bought two new shirts today (one for work, one for home) and that is just because I "swim" in my work shirts and my co-workers give me a hard time. I figured for $4 it would be worth it but my hope is I outgrow it in a few months! I have really pared down my closet/drawers since our move last year but I know there are still opportunities for improvement! Jason has more clothes than me which I just find so funny!

    I know I can cut out some of my hanging since I am always in the "lounge" clothes (from the drawer) at home! With kids it just makes sense 🙂 Now I just have to decide which pieces to let go of!

  4. I definitely do NOT have a "minimal" wardrobe, but I feel like I could pare down quite a bit (maybe half?). I wear the same things pretty much every week and a half to work, and the shirts I wear to work, I can wear out and about on the weekends with jeans. Before May, I owned 2 (ratty) t-shirts. I bought 4-5 when we went to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon in early May, and now I remember why I never had any t-shirts: I dont like the way I look in them! I really should go through and donate the clothes that no longer fit (I lost 30 lbs this spring/summer) and make it a priority to pare down and keep only the items I feel good wearing.

  5. Not minimal but I have weeded out a lot of stuff the past year. I hope each season to go back through and get rid of what I don't wear and eventually have more of a minimal wardrobe. I've started to get a lot pickier about what I buy – I want comfort and flattering.

  6. I want to throw out my entire wardrobe and start again with just a few pieces. I have stuff from 20 years ago that I still wear for crying out loud!

    trying to get rid of the old and simplify life. Too much "stuff" just makes life difficult.

    1. Wouldn’t that be fun!? I bet it’s more within your reach than you know. Maybe you could replace one category a month? As in, get rid of all the shirts you no longer want and buy two casual and two dressy to replace. Then jeans, slacks, outerwear, shoes, dresses, skirts, etc as often as youcan afford it. And just commit to not buying impulse clothing purchases whole you’re building your wardrobe back up. You’d hopefully end up with less, better quality, better fitting, more modern, more “you” clothing!

  7. Thanks for this. I currently just went through my kids clothes which seemed so much easier than going through my own. While I know that this list of yours is by no means a "one size fits all" it will help me immensely while trying to figure out what to start with. Thanks again

    1. I think that depends on whether or not you have space to store those clothes and the season of life you’re in. (Example, if you’ve recently had a baby and are working back towards your pre-pregnancy weight.) If they don’t make you feel bad when you see these clothes/think about them, hold on to your absolute favorites – besides if you do lose the extra size you’ll probably want to treat yourself to a few new things!

  8. This is a great post! I am currently doing the same for my boys (5,3,1). Space is limited and I just need to simplify. My first step was to avoid my local consignment sale this week. I consigned but didn’t shop. I find myself buying too much of what I can’t use, then lacking during the current season! This year, I want to buy about 2 oufit sets per child that can be interchangeable and linen and seersucker suits for church. I know that I may havevto spend more money at one time, but I think that it will balance out. Especially since the clothes will be passed down at least 2 times:) Now, my closet is another story! I love clothes and fashion too much to be limited and I find such great quality pieces at yard sales and thrifting. I really do enjoy not having the “what to wear” Sunday morning fits that I used to have. My husband does too:)

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  10. I have been reading a ton of minimalist posts lately as well as reader comments and it seriously just dawned on my how many sweatshirts, sweaters, and dresses I own that I’ve worn ONCE but are still in my closet because I might want to wear it. And along those lines I noticed there are only a handful of things I reach for regularly. I am a horder. Of clothes, purses, shoes, nail polish (I have almost 100 bottles!) I’m kind of disgusted about how much money I’ve wasted. But I’ve been raised that way. My mom has a big walk in closet that is crammed. So it’s normal to me. But, I am ready to purge. Thank you everyone!

  11. Thanks for this. I currently just went through my kids clothes which seemed so much easier than going through my own. While I know that this list of yours is by no means a "one size fits all" it will help me immensely while trying to figure out what to start with. Thanks again

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