Deciding what you want to wear every morning is a pain in the you know what and this frustration is only amplified by the number of clothes that you have. Wouldn’t you love to be able to go into your wardrobe and pick out an outfit in seconds, knowing that it would always look stylish? It sounds like a dream, but it could easily be your reality.
Minimalism as a concept has been around for generations, and it’s only in recent years that we’ve started to stockpile clothes like there is an impending apocalypse. The truth is, you don’t wear 90% of your clothes and therefore you’re making your life far more difficult than it needs to be by keeping them rather than replacing them.
Today you’re going to learn how to look stylish, 100% of the time, with a fraction of the effort that you’re accustomed to putting into your appearance. The trick is to set yourself up for success by creating a wardrobe that helps you, rather than holding you back.
What’s a Minimalist Wardrobe?
A minimalist wardrobe is the minimum amount of clothes that you need to look fantastic every day of the week, with a realistic lifestyle. Of course, you don’t want to be washing clothes daily, and therefore the minimalist wardrobe is centered on creating 7-days of outfits so that you look great all week with no effort.
It doesn’t matter if you’re big, small, tall, short, muscular or skinny, the minimalist wardrobe is a principle that is universal. The reality is that right now you have too many choices, too many combinations and this makes it difficult for you to come up with the right outfit choices each day.
Plus, because you haven’t created a structured wardrobe, there is a good chance that the vast majority of your clothes aren’t versatile enough to match each other. Whereas in the world of a minimalist wardrobe everything matches, everything works together and therefore you can grab and go in seconds with a smile on your face because you know that you’ll look sexy.
The 4 Essential Minimalist Rules
Every good philosophy has a handful of catchy slogans and rules, which is why we have four essential rules that you need to follow to successfully achieve a minimalist wardrobe.
1. You must pick clothes that are versatile. When you’re working with a relatively small amount of clothes you need to ensure that they are working overtime so that you can combine them with a huge variety of other clothes. Think fewer tuxedo jackets and more plain t-shirts and jeans. The key is to think regarding a total number of combinations rather than individual items.
2. Solid and neutral colors for most of your clothes. The biggest reason why your current wardrobe isn’t working for you is that there is too much variety and the colors of your clothes aren’t cohesive. While we don’t suggest buying everything in one color, by reducing your color palette you vastly increase the total number of possible combinations.
3. Be realistic. Stop thinking about the exception and start thinking regarding your realistic lifestyle. If you like to relax and play sports, don’t lie to yourself and buy collared shirts and jackets, pick up a bunch of fantastic jeans, shorts, and t-shirts that are versatile.
4. Prioritize quality and fit. The clothes that you buy must always be of the highest quality and have a superb fit if you want to ensure that you’re going to wear them consistently. Currently, you wear a handful of your clothes repeatedly because they fit great and look fantastic, but what if your entire wardrobe could look like that?
What Your Wardrobe Should Look Like
The components of your wardrobe will depend highly on your style and taste, but to give you an example of a standard wardrobe, here’s what you might expect:
- Two jackets
- Eight different shirts (t-shirts, polos, collared and henley shirts)
- Two pairs of pants (1 pair of jeans and one pair of slacks)
- Eight pairs of dark socks
- Eight pairs of dark underwear
- One pair of black Chelsea boots
- One pair of sneakers
Wow, let’s compare that to your current wardrobe, shall we? It’s far smaller, but because it’s cohesive and structured, it can give you a greater number of outfit combinations and without all of the stress and frustration that comes with a standard wardrobe.
If we’re working on the assumption that you’ll be washing your clothes every 7-days, you’ll need at least eight pairs of underwear and socks so that you can wear them daily. The same is true of your shirts, although you may choose to get a few more if you need to change throughout the day because you visit the gym.
Rather than having a huge number of shoes and pants to choose from, we’ve distilled it down to two of each. The result is that you can simplify your life, while still looking excellent because everything is designed to match and create cohesive outfits.
Note, we’re not counting accessories in this list. Accessories are sort of unique because by design they are going to stand out against your outfit and therefore there is less need for them to be cohesive, although we would recommend you stick to one color of leather and one color of metal throughout your outfit for simplicity.
When it comes to jackets you have two choices; you can either go smart and choose jackets like blazers which will look fantastic with collared shirts. Alternatively, if you dress more casual, you might choose a leather jacket and a bomber jacket, giving you some versatility without complicating your wardrobe.
Both the leather jacket and bomber are ideal for a minimalist wardrobe because they are typically made in dark and solid colors like black or navy. Similarly, they are relatively simple and therefore can be easily dressed up and down, while still being able to be worn to a huge variety of different events.
Pros and Cons of Minimalism
If you’re still not sold on starting a new minimalist wardrobe, let’s go over some of the pro’s, and con’s so that you can see why it’s the smarter choice.
- Far smaller wardrobe, making it quicker and easier to find what you want
- Fewer clothes to wash each week
- Much easier to look great every single day
- You can invest in higher quality clothes
- Packing and traveling becomes simpler
- There is a lack of variety which might be boring to some
- You could lack the attire for a rare occasion
- It can be challenging to have a unique style
There you have it if that doesn’t convince you then the minimalist wardrobe isn’t right for you. But if you’re still with us, you’ll understand that by reducing your wardrobe drastically you can buy higher quality clothes that are timeless and versatile. The result is a large selection of outfits that combine beautiful clothes to create a cohesive outfit without you having to put any thought into it.
How to Get Started
Getting started doesn’t mean throwing out your entire wardrobe and starting again, this defeats one of the key benefits of the minimalist wardrobe which is affordability. Instead, take all of your clothes out and set them into two piles, the first is clothes that you love and wear at least once every two weeks, the other pile is for everything else.
Keep those things that you love and genuinely wear, donate everything else to a charity. From there, expand your leftover wardrobe with clothes of the same style and color palette so that you come close to our ideal wardrobe recommendation and have a selection of different options all of which work well together. Congratulations, you’ve achieved a minimalist wardrobe!