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How to Create a Minimalist Wardrobe

by Elissa Solomon
7 minutes read

Have you ever looked at the vast number of clothes you have and felt… depressed? Upset? Even disgusted that you’ve got so many things that you never – ever – wear? Buying those things might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but now, all this time later, it now just means your closet is full to the brim (and maybe other places too, like your floor) and you only ever wear a few bits anyway. 

If you’re in that situation, creating a minimalist wardrobe might be the best solution for you. In that way, everything you buy will have a reason behind it, and you can create a wonderful, versatile set of outfits for any occasion. With that in mind, keep reading to find out more about how to create a minimalist wardrobe so you can be happier and less stressed whilst also being fashionable and chic. 

Start With A Closet Audit

The first step when it comes to creating a minimalist wardrobe is to do a closet audit so you can see precisely what you’ve got. Take everything out of the closet and lay it all out on the bed (or any clean surface, come to that) so you can see everything at once. If you can do this, it’s going to help you understand what you own and you’ll be able to make better decisions about what you’re going to keep. 

Identify Your Essentials

A minimalist wardrobe is made up of a set of basic essentials that can work with a range of different outfits, so you’ll need to look for those within the clothes you already have. The best way to do that is to separate your clothes into three piles: essentials, non-essentials, and anything you want to throw out. To help you, essentials are pieces you love and wear all the time, non-essentials are things you wear on occasion but might not love, and the rest are things that are damaged or don’t fit or that you know you’re never going to wear again – anything you’ve not worn in over a year can definitely go into that pile. 

Define Your Personal Style

Now you’ll need to look at the clothes in your essentials pile and work out what it is they have in common. Why? Because that’s going to help you define your personal style, and in turn that’s going to help you buy the right things in the future – things you’re really going to wear and enjoy. Take a look at the color, style, patterns, and even types of clothes you’ve bought and liked in the past to help you work out what it is you’re looking for when it comes to new clothes. 

Choose A Color Palette

A minimalist wardrobe often resolves around a neutral color palette, so you’ll need to choose the ideal base color for you that everything else can work around. There are a few different options, like white, gray, black, navy, beige, and so on. The great thing about colors like these is that they’re versatile and can be used with most other things, so if you have a set of clothes in your signature base color, you can rely on them to make up the bulk of your outfits and then add accent colors for a bit of difference. 

When it comes to your accent colors, you’re going to need to choose ones that suit you and complement your base colors, but you don’t have to stick to just one or two colors – you can change things up if you want to, and perhaps choose your accent colors depending on the season; light, bright colors for summer and darker, deeper colors for winter, and so on. 

Invest In Quality Over Quantity 

The whole point (or at least the main point) of a minimalist wardrobe is exactly that – minimalism. In other words, you don’t want too many items of clothing cluttering things up. That’s why it’s so important to invest in high-quality, durable fabrics that are going to last longer than cheaper things and, of course, keep their shape and stay looking good for potentially years to come. Your best solution to this is to opt for natural fibers like cotton, wool, silk, and linen, for example. And remember, quality clothing doesn’t just last for longer, it looks good while it lasts, so it’s far better value for money in the end. 

If you’re having trouble choosing, opt for timeless, classic pieces that aren’t going to go out of style, like a well-fitted blazer, a little black dress, tailored trousers, a white blouse, and so on. These work no matter what the season or what style everyone is wearing, so they’re a great set of items to have in your minimalist wardrobe. 

Build Your Capsule Wardrobe

Now you know what you want to get, it’s time to start shopping. Start by getting the essential pieces to form the foundation of your wardrobe, which could include the things we’ve mentioned above, as well as jeans, t-shirts, and a jacket, for example. Just make sure these basics are versatile and interchangeable. 

Once you’ve got the basics, you can add key pieces to really enhance your wardrobe – not too many, though, or you’ll undo the good you’re doing. Think about the practical things you’re going to need, like things to layer with when the weather turns cold, to make sure you’ve got everything you want. 

Practice Mindful Shopping

One last thing to note is that it can be very tempting to buy lots of clothes when you go shopping because you fall in love with things, but after a while you’ll realize it was a mistake because you don’t wear any of it. That’s where mindful shopping comes in. 

Before you buy any new clothes, make a list of what you need – that’s going to help prevent impulse buys (most of the time, anyway) and make sure that whatever it is you buy is going to find a place in your minimalist wardrobe. And always opt for clothing that can be worn in multiple different ways with different elements so you can make the most of every individual piece you own.

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