Why Opt For A Minimalist Closet?
There is a myriad of reasons for why so many women (and men!) are choosing to reduce their closets down to the bare minimum. Caroline Rector of Unfancy started her capsule wardrobe out of “a desire to find my style and curb my mindless shopping habit”. After stripping her wardrobe down to only 37 pieces, she was able to feel more in-tune with her personal style.
For tidying up guru Marie Kondo, decluttering is a way to get in touch with what you really value. In a way, it’s similar to Rector’s discovery of her personal style. However, with Kondo, minimising is a way of getting in tune with the self. Tidying up gives you a way of understanding not only how you like to dress, but of the things that bring you joy.
A smaller wardrobe also minimises the need to make decisions, thus cutting down time and energy spent agonising over what to wear. Lastly, a minimalist closet leads to a more affordable lifestyle – especially if you set a personal limit to the pieces of clothing that you allow yourself to keep.
How To Build A Minimalist Wardrobe
Step 1: Assess Your Daily Needs
Before starting The Purge, you need to have a clear understanding of what you need style-wise. Look at your day-to-day life and pinpoint the types of clothes you need to get by. For example, if you work in an office, you need a closet that allows you to create multiple office looks per week. If you have a more active lifestyle, you need pieces that help you move around a lot. If you travel a lot, then you need clothes that are light, comfortable, and easy to pack.
And don’t forget to factor in environmental concerns like the weather. If you live in a place that doesn’t really get a cold winter, then there’s no point in keeping a heavy jacket, right?
Step 2: The Purge
In Marie Kondo’s show, she uses a simple technique to assess whether she truly needs to keep an item: she asks herself if it sparks joy. For Kondo, joy is a feeling she can’t explain – a kind of spark she gets when she touches or looks at an object. When she doesn’t feel that spark, she thanks an item and lets it go. If you can’t decide whether you want to let go of an item, set aside an “undecided” pile you can return to later on.
When you’re really stuck on some items, here are a couple of surefire questions that’ll help weed out the best from the rest:
When was the last time I wore this piece?
Sometimes, we’re attached to our clothes for sentimental reasons even if we haven’t worn them for months. The practical route would be to get rid of items you haven’t felt the need to wear in over six months.
Does it still fit?
If you aren’t trying to lose weight any time soon, let go of the clothes that no longer fit you. Now, if you are trying to lose weight, set achievable goals!
Is it useful right now or for a specific occasion?
Not all clothes will be useful every day, but that also doesn’t mean that you have to purge every gown and swimsuit. Think about how many big events you need to attend in a year and how many beach trips you take. Clothes get to stay when they have a purpose to serve.
Once you have your pile of clothes to let go, find charities or shops that will accept donations. Don’t just throw your clothes out! One of the goals of minimalist living is sustainability. Remember, it isn’t just about reducing. Rather, it’s about reducing, reusing, and recycling as much as we can.
Step 3: Figure Out A Personal Style
While step one was about learning what your day-to-day needs are, step three is about figuring out what you want out of your clothes. This part is about all the little details that make up the kinds of clothes that make you feel like your best self, including the types of fabric, the colours, and the fits that feel right. Here, you’ll decide if you prefer neutrals over loud colours, flowy clothes over tight-fitting ones, or athletic versus boho-chic sensibilities.
Trends come and go, but having a personal style helps you look and feel your best even when you’re not the trendiest one in the room.
Step 4: Take Care Of Your Clothes
A minimalist closet is only effective if you take good care of your clothes. Otherwise, you’ll end up having to purchase more and more items to replace the ones you damage – defeating the purpose of this entire exercise altogether.
What Does A Minimalist Wardrobe Look Like?
Here are 25 essential items to keep in a minimalist closet:
- T-shirts (5 to 7)
- Sweaters (3 to 4)
- Heavy jackets (1 to 2)
- Light jackets or cardigans (2 to 3)
- Business outfits (1 to 2 blazers, 1 to 2 formal pants or skirts/3 to 4 dresses)
- Dress shirts (3 to 5)
- A little black dress
- Casual pants (3 to 5)
- Workout shorts (1 to 2)
- Workout shirts (2 to 4)
- Workout shoes (1)
- Walking shoes (2)
- Formal shoes (2)
- Underwear (7 to 8)
- Bras (2 to 3)
- Pyjamas (5)
- Swimsuits (1 to 2)
- Tank tops (3 to 4)
- Casual tops (5 to 7)
- Fancy pants (3 to 4)