Have you considered having a minimalist wardrobe but don’t know where to start or how to go about it? Most people’s encounter with the term “minimalist” is likely in the context of interior design – open spaces, monochrome palettes and stark design could be what immediately comes to mind.
But, minimalist fashion is different. As top fashion sites such as The Trending Man demonstrate, minimalism seeks to create a wardrobe that is simple, functional, compact – yet sophisticated.
We live in a world overrun by fast fashion where you can quickly be trapped in the endless cycle of consumerism and the constant drive for wardrobe changes. Not only do you end up with a closet full of clothes you’ll never wear, but it also makes it harder for you to make daily wardrobe decisions. You can avoid that mental drain and space issues by building a simple, capsule wardrobe you can turn to every day.
Here is how to do that.
1. Take Everything Out of Your Closet
Take it all out. And this means everything. Not just your T-shirts, pants, coats and jackets but also your pajamas, socks, ties, slippers and shoes. Spread it all out on the bed and/or floor.
In case the contents of your closet prove too much to fit in your bedroom, or if you do not have the time to sift through it all, you can do these steps in stages over the course of a week or two.
2. Address the Low-Hanging Fruit
The heap of clothes and shoes set before you can feel overwhelming. But the trick is to take care of the obvious decisions first – before you get to the ones requiring more elaborate analysis. Target low-hanging fruit that contributes to closet congestion, but are items that you never wear.
An easy test? Check out anything that has dust on the shoulders or folds. Note that this does not mean just the pieces that you find unappealing. There could be items you admire but you no longer feel comfortable wearing. Take all of these and place them in boxes or bags for appropriate disposal or donation.
It’s important that you get these boxes and bags out of the bedroom (and possibly the home) immediately. Leaving them in a corner of the bedroom means they could still be sitting there a month later – further contributing to the clutter.
3. Steer Clear of Sentimentality
Being sentimental is probably one of the main reasons why your closet is overflowing in the first place. Perhaps you have a jacket that brings back fond high school memories. Maybe it’s a T-shirt that reads, “I climbed to the top of Sassafras Mountain.”
Irrespective of the item and your emotional connection to it, you need to get rid of it if you no longer wear it. In fact, chances are you only wore it once, which is why it is so firmly associated with a specific event in your life such as a wedding or a prom.
4. Does It Fit?
If you are like most people, your body has changed over the years. Maybe you are slimmer today than before or have added on some weight. These changes certainly affect what you can wear. But we sometimes hang onto an item in our closet because we are hoping to get back to a certain size at some point in the future.
While keeping clothes that encourage your pursuit of a certain weight loss goal can be a positive goal to work toward, do not go overboard. You can keep perhaps one or two pieces for that purpose, but no more. Everything else that isn’t wearable because it is no longer your size should go out the door.
5. Prioritize by Frequency of Wear
It is relatively easy to get rid of stuff that you never wear. It is more difficult to make a decision when it comes to clothes you do wear. If everything remaining is something you wear at least a few times each year, then you have to find a means of eliminating some of them to arrive at a truly minimalist wardrobe.
You can do that by checking or estimating your frequency of each piece. The more frequently you wear it, the less you will want to get rid of it.
That being said, pay attention to seasonal wear such as the sweaters and jackets you would ordinarily only wear in a South Carolina winter. In this case, wearing them infrequently doesn’t mean you don’t need them. Nevertheless, you can trim down the number of sweaters and jackets you have so you are only left with exactly what you need.
It’s a Continuous Process
Your journey to a minimalist wardrobe is not something you do once and forget about. So, make a habit of repeating these steps every three to six months. The good thing is that once you get the hang of it, you are less likely to fall back to a cluttered, chaotic closet. Instead, you will be left with a minimal number of items that you love and actually wear.
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