I have been working for some time on attaining a minimal closet, and I feel that I am happy now with the way my closet looks and works for me. I want to share it with you as well as list the important things I learned while working toward simplifying in this important area of my life.
This is a difficult one to make general statements about because everyone has their own personal style and likes different things. I encourage you to pursue your own style, no matter what that is! If you like rotating three or four simple colors throughout the week, then certainly do this. If you like patterns and prints, then enjoy these. I will apply the things I have learned to my own style here, but they can certainly be applied to any style. Here are some things to consider in building your minimal closet:
Find your own style.
You have to honestly and sincerely decide what YOU like without input from others. This can include colors, patterns, and whether you prefer skirts/dresses or pants/shorts. I personally prefer solid colors, although I do keep a few shirts that are exceptions that I love as well. I have a few jeans, one pair of wine-colored pants, one pair of black pants, and one long grey skirt. The main thing that I strive for is making sure that everything matches with everything else. Jeans can be matched with almost everything I own and most of my shirts easily match with my wine-colored pants if I decide to go with my alternate color. I have a black jacket and a jean jacket, easily matched with any shirt. I have two pairs of Vans shoes (one high top, one not), a pair of running shoes, one pair of boots, and two pairs of sandals, one dressier and one more casual. I keep a couple dresses for dressier occasions at work or a wedding. I keep two winter coats (one dressier and one not), a rain jacket, a couple bathing suits, a pair of workout shorts, and a couple comfy sweatpants.
Find your silhouette.
I have found this one to be SO important for me personally. I was simply not comfortable in several shirts that I loved the look of and I could not figure out why. That’s when I stumbled across this idea of silhouette on a few minimalist fashion blogs and realized what I was missing. Your silhouette is the general shape of your clothing on your body. You may prefer wide pants and skirts with a more narrow or tighter top. You may prefer skinny jeans or shorts with a more baggy top. Most women pick this based on what they feel like their best assets are. My personal silhouette is tighter pants (shorts, skinny jeans) with a looser (and sometimes shorter) top. I believe that this style works best for me. Keep in mind that choosing to accent your best assets does not in any way have to be attention-seeking. It is simply dressing in a way that makes you feel comfortable and pretty, and it is important to stay true to this.
In the interest of not spending exorbitant amounts of money on your closet, consider shopping at a thrift store. This is more ethical as well as much, much cheaper. All of my clothes have either been given to me as hand-me downs or purchased from thrift or consignment stores.
I have started paying attention to this more recently. When I started making my own deodorant, I researched fabric that is healthy for the body and allows it to breathe. I made the switch to cotton, loose-fitting shirts and find myself much more comfortable and cooler throughout the day. I made this switch gradually, as I found shirts I liked at the thrift store. There are still some pieces that are not 100% cotton, such as my dress for special occasions, and I intend to keep these. When I add new pieces to my closet, however, I choose cotton or at least 95% cotton.
Minimalism in underclothing is possible as well. It is important to apply the natural materials rule to underwear, as it is very important for women’s health to wear breathable underwear. I have seven pairs of cotton panties, all black to easily match my three black bras, and one set of nude-colored underwear and bra to wear with white and other light colors. This color palate might seem very boring to you and that’s okay. Choose the colors you like, but make sure it is very easy to match no matter what clothes you have clean at the time.
While your closet may not be this simplistic (and it is totally fine to own more clothes than this), don’t hold onto things “just in case.” If you find that you have not worn something in awhile, take it out of your closet and figure out why. Consider it in light of these criteria and consider donating it if you believe it is no longer in your style and you won’t wear it again. Whatever your style and silhouette, I encourage you to use these characteristics to build your own minimal wardrobe that works for you.