How to Build a Minimal Wardrobe
The overall driving force behind building a minimal wardrobe is slow fashion and conscious buying; placing needs before wants, buying quality rather than quantity, but also focusing on personal style, form and function. A minimal wardrobe (or indeed, lifestyle) is about getting rid of anything that doesn’t make you happy to make room for things that do.
The cycle of purchasing seasonal trends, clearance “bargains,” and last season cast-offs, which become misshapen and faded after a few washes, is tiresome and destructive both for your wallets and also for the planet. Simplifying your buying habits and minimizing your wardrobe brings a sense of freedom; you never have to think about what you’re going to wear because everything fits, everything matches and everything looks great.
If the idea of building a minimal wardrobe seems daunting, these five principles will help guide and assist you on building a minimal wardrobe to be proud of. Remembering these principles will keep things uncomplicated and easy to achieve.
1. Plan what is needed
First, declutter and downsize your wardrobe. This will give you a firm grasp of what your wardrobe lacks. Planning what your wardrobe needs means you will be less likely to impulse buy.
Think about what you like about your surviving clothes, what you like to wear and what you really want to avoid. Make a shopping list of items that need to be replaced and plan what is required to fill the gaps. Focus on selecting pieces that are timeless and versatile, which will work together as a whole.
There might be a sense of urgency in replacing such things as the basics — tights, leggings, lingerie and staple items like t-shirts or jeans — but there should be a couple of pieces on your list that can wait until you find the perfect item.
2. Choose a color palette
Neutrals are often a good choice of color palette for a minimal wardrobe. Since the goal is to build a wardrobe with each piece being able to be mixed and matched with each other, keeping to a complimentary palette will help achieve a unity within your wardrobe.
Neutrals are not, as they might first appear, boring. However, if you are someone who craves a brighter sense of fashion then by all means pick a bolder color palette. Learn more about developing your personal color palette.
3. Buy the best quality
Buying the best quality your budget can afford is crucial to building a minimal wardrobe with fewer items of higher quality. It’s not always easy determining what fashion brands are worth investing in. High-end brands don’t always last and cheap labels aren’t always terrible quality.
Fabric and materials used are more important than the price tag, so focus on learning which fabrics and metals (when buying accessories) equal quality and will, if cared for properly, last years.
4. Dress to feel good
Ignore fashion advice that tells you to “dress to flatter your figure.” It is much more important to learn what you like to wear and pick items that make you feel good every time you wear them.
Clothes should never make you feel bad; your wardrobe should make you feel empowered and comfortable. If you don’t enjoy wearing trousers or skirts, stop buying them. If you hate tops and dresses with sleeves, don’t wear them. If you like wearing all black every day, go for it. Build a wardrobe that makes you feel good, and you will never get bored with its contents.
Accessories often get overlooked, yet are the most powerful tool of any wardrobe. If you’re working with a neutral color palette and very specific cuts or styles of garments, then an accessory can completely change the look and feel of any outfit.
Focus on selecting key accessories — again, of high quality and made to last — such as a quality belt, a classic jewelry set including necklace, bracelet and earrings, and a timeless watch. These pieces will completely revolutionize your style and are not to be overlooked when building a minimal wardrobe.
Article by Sophie Davies