Minimalistic wardrobe

My closet. A nice, simple closet I really like. There’s just one thing about it I dislike: it doesn’t close anymore. Not because it’s broken, but because there are so many clothes in it, my poor closet is about to collapse under the weight.

I used to buy a lot of clothing, and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT! At a certain point I really couldn’t fit another top or pair of jeans into my closet, so I had to put it somewhere else. That’s how I filled up another closet … Most of the clothing I almost never wear and a lot of the clothing still has the tags on. So it’s time to clean up! But where to start … ? Ask yourself these questions:

What are your favorite colors? Mine are neutrals, pastels and natural colors. I have a very light skin color, blonde hair and grey/blue eyes and I think those kind of colors look the best on me. So start with making a color palette: which colors do you like and which of those look good on you?

Here’s my color palette:

  • Purple
  • Light blue
  • Ivory
  • Light pink
  • Brown
  • Black

Where do you feel comfortable in? I like jeans, skinny or flared. I get cold real easy, so I like warm fabrics. I like plain shirts or shirts with small details that fit my body type and I’m not a big fan of short, tight skirts.

So the things I would like to be in my closet are:

  • Jeans
  • Sweaters
  • Cardigans
  • T-shirt
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Comfortable dresses

Which clothes do you need? I work from home, so I don’t really need any kind of work clothes like a suit. I do, however, own a pencil skirt and a nice blazer when I need to dress more formal. I also have some occasion appropriate clothing for funerals, parties and holidays. Maybe you own a few items you don’t really like but need to have for work. A tip might be to purchase a suit you feel as comfortable in as possible.

So what are the basics you might need?

  • A coat for autumn and winter
  • A coat for spring and summer
  • Pair of jeans that fit perfect
  • Basic t-shirts
  • Basic long sleeve shirts
  • Cardigan
  • Sweater
  • Nice skirt and/or dress
  • Blazer

I’ve left out some stuff you might only wear during a particular season or when you’re at work, like shorts and sandals during summer and tights, hats and gloves to keep you warm during autumn or winter and formal trousers during work.

Also pay attention to some nice shoes. I own 2 pair of boots (and a pair for when it gets really cold) I can combine with everything, 1 pair of grey All Stars and 3 pair of flats in light pink, brown and black to go with everything when the weather gets better. For more formal situations I own 1 pair of black high heels.

So I started to clean out my closet. I’ve created two wardrobes, because of the simple reason that I live in the Netherlands, and there’s no way to predict what kind of seasons we’re going to get (on year the summer is so hot you can’t even sleep, the next year you’re almost drowning because of the amount of rain that’s coming down). So I’ve created a wardrobe for when summer all of a sudden sets in, and a wardrobe for the many cold and rainy days.

I’ve tried to keep only the high(er) quality stuff, because it will last longer. And because when owning less clothes you will wear the clothes you do have more often. I also got rid of clothing that wasn’t combining with at least 3 other items.

A good rule for when you’re buying new stuff: one in, one out. So if you buy a new shirt, get rid of an old one.

After a few hours I was done sorting out all my clothes, shoes and bags. All the stuff I didn’t want to keep I packed in boxes and bags and I put an ad online with a short explanation of why I was getting rid of all that stuff and that, if someone wants it, they’re welcome to pick it all up for free. I got a reaction very fast and the person in question is coming to pick all the stuff up soon.

Think of the stuff you might need to complete your (more) minimalistic wardrobe. If you don’t have  any basic items that go with almost everything, you might want to consider getting those items and letting go of your clothes that are hard to combine.

Some of my stuff needed replacement. My only really warm cardigan got too small, my shorts for summertime were making me feel uncomfortable and the only hoodie I kept I can’t wear to some occasions (it says “I love funky boys” … No need to explain I guess). So, here’s my list of the things I would like to get:

  • Toe socks (to solve the cold feet problem in the Vibram FiveFingers)
  • Long, warm cardigan (I wear one I got from my mother, but I can’t keep wearing that one forever. Even though I wish I could, I love that cardigan!)
  • Fashionable fleece sweater (yes, they do exist. Just because I’m trying to be more minimalistic (it still sounds like an oxymoron …) doesn’t mean I don’t want to look nice
  • Winter coat (yes, I know it’s spring, but my coat is no longer to any use, and because now there’s still sale on all winterproducts I can save a lot of money, but still get a nice coat I really like)
  • Hoodie (because I do love more than just “funky boys”)
  • Shorts (because of the simple reason the shorts I own make me feel uncomfortable)
  • Basic t-shirts (to combine with everything)

So I went into the city today and got 2 pairs of shorts I really like and some basic t-shirts that fit my body perfectly and combine with everything. I couldn’t find some of the other stuff that’s on my list that I really liked. I only bought clothes with the colors that look good on me and fit with everything.

I like to point out that being minimalistic isn’t about not spending money. It’s about not spending money on stuff you DO NOT need. I do start noticing that spending money gets harder now I’m really thinking about what I’m buying.

A tip on buying less: Put the things you would like to buy on a list to think about it for 30 days to avoid buying stuff you end up not using.

All the stuff I’m giving away: 2 bags with clothes, 1 box with shoes, 1 box with bags


2 thoughts on “Minimalistic wardrobe

  1. I am so jealous. Your post makes so much sense, but my closet is such a disaster it just would not be so easy to do what you say. I have been contemplating having a minimalist wardrobe though b/c I think it would be freeing not to have so much “stuff”. You’ve motivated me to try again and clean, purge, minimalize my living area.

    • Thank you for your kind words. At first, it was a bit hard for me as well. Every time I picked up a piece of clothing I was thinking: “But I might want to wear this one time!” Even though the price tag was still on it and I bought it a year ago … Maybe it will help you to just step away from your wardrobe, sit on the couch or anything, and think about all your favorite items. For me that was a purple shirt, a grey sweater and a wonderful pair of jeans. So I really wanted to keep those. If you’re not sure about getting rid of some of the stuff, store it somewhere (the garage, underneath your bed, etc.). That way you can always get it back if you change your mind. If you haven’t been touching the stuff in 6 months or a year (or whatever timespan you would like), sell it or donate it. I wish you good luck and if I can help you with something, just let me know!

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