I have spent nearly a year building a minimalist wardrobe. I get lots of questions about it, so I wanted to post the how of creating a beautiful, functional, small wardrobe.
1) Basics, basics, basics
Do you ever feel like you have lots of fancy, lovely clothes, but they don’t really go together? You probably don’t have enough basics.
My most important basics are skirts for work, neutral dresses, a nice pair of jeans, and cardigans. These are the items that you will wear again and again, so it’s important to find good quality items. Even when I’m thrift shopping, I try to buy the best quality I can find because I know that I’m going to be wearing them a couple of times a week at least.
I try to have a balance between basics in neutral colors and basics in accent colors. I realized this recently because I end up in all brown and look like a mushroom. So I bought my fall coat in hunter green, which will complement all of my clothes and yet pop against my brown and cream neutrals.
2) Limited color palette
A minimalist wardrobe does not have to be boring! Lots of people create a minimalist wardrobe out of all black, with perhaps a few pops of color. I am here to say – Think again!
The key is to have a limited palette. The idea is to have multi-purpose items that will mix and match easily.
To begin, choose two neutral colors and one accent color. This will bring your wardrobe into focus and expand your options. When I began seriously dressing this way, I whittled my wardrobe down to brown & cream (neutrals) and purple (accent color). When I bought new glasses, I bought purple glasses because, hey, they go with everything!
Later on, I added new colors, but only ones that complement the colors I’m already wearing. My current palette is purple, pink, and green with brown, cream, and navy blue as my neutrals.
This step actually makes shopping a cinch because you can exclude everything that doesn’t fit in your palette, which means less time considering every item in a store. A quick visual sweep can be all it takes to realize that there is something there that works with your wardrobe or not.
3) Multi-purpose Items
I mentioned this above, but it is definitely its own strategy. Look for items that will easy work with a variety of other pieces you have.
For me, cardigans have really come to the forefront as a versatile item. I have lots of sleeveless shirts that I like to wear in the summer, but throwing on a cardigan makes that suitable for other seasons as well as at the office.
I also look for pieces with certain shapes because they lend themselves to layering, creating more options. Try a buttoned up cardigan over a dress and it looks like a new outfit. But the dress shape and the cardigan shape have to match to work together.
********************************************************************* I fly at least four times a year, so for me, it was easy to try these strategies out while packing a minimalist travel wardrobe. I have figured out what works best for me on the road, and then worked to apply those strategies to my regular wardrobe.
If you want to see an amazing minimalist travel wardrobe, head on over to My Roman Apartment. She is spending a semester in Italy and packed a beautiful wardrobe. Plus she shares pictures every day of what she’s wearing. Very inspiring! Check it out.
There are my three strategies to share with you today. I hope you can begin creating a beautiful, functional, minimalist wardrobe!
Any other strategies to share? I know some of you out there will have something to add.