FASHION | Top 5 Tips For Getting Your Minimal Wardrobe Started

how to start a minimal wardrobe


You may remember way back in January my idea of a '5 Piece Wardrobe'...ha! It's fair to say I got a wee bit waylaid this year, I didn't realise the level of commitment it takes. But this September I was ready to simplify my wardrobe again and I have no regrets! I've had a huge clear out (I still have some stuff left on eBay) and I've taken my wardrobe back to basics, like a clean slate. I've never been the snazziest dresser so I love that I can just pull out random things in my closet without thinking and be ready to go. I've a feeling I'll be sticking to this simplified wardrobe, I plan to allow myself one key item a month if I really want it unless there's like an emergency (my favourite denim dies, jumpers get holes in etc...if they need replacing they won't count as my one item. Read the rules!) I do think it's a good concept but before you begin you need to sort out what you already have!

  I won't lie, it was a little heartbreaking letting go of certain items but it's totally worth putting aside an afternoon and doing. Plus you gotta love the money you make on eBay (after the dreaded fees that is...) Besides, you need get used to it too, as you'll be doing it at the start of every season! This is how I edited my wardrobe:

1 | Create a moodboard. Whether you do this on Pinterest or the old skool way with a stack of mags and a scrapbook, this is a fab way of collecting looks and colour palettes that you like and getting an idea of what your preferences are when defining your personal style. It's a good idea to split them into seasons, I know that I personally make most of my mistake purchases in the summer so I need something to keep me on track! Take inspiration from your style icons but bear in mind a few factors...for example, I love Alexa Chung's style but if I put on a little peter pan collared dress I just feel silly and not like 'me'. Be inspired by others but don't copy, stay true to yourself and wear what you feel comfortable in. And are those amazing heels in your favourite blogger's recent post actually going to fit in with your lifestyle? Planning your wardrobe is of course loads of fun but remember to be practical too.

how to start a minimal wardrobe

2 | Empty your closet. The whole darn thing, including shoes. Try on everything and be brutally honest with yourself. Is it too small/too big? Is it looking a bit worse for wear? Does it actually look a bit crap on you? (which is totally the item's fault and nothing to do with your gorgeous self!) Does it fit in with the rest of your wardrobe? Are you ever gonna actually wear those beautiful heels that you can't walk in? There's no point in keeping anything you don't feel comfortable wearing because it'll show and instead of looking happy, relaxed and confident you'll just end up looking miserable and unapproachable. And if you still haven't worn that top a year after you bought it you're unlikely to ever give it an outing (although I give things a shorter period of 6 months to be worn before they're gone!) Organise them into Keep/eBay/recycle/donate piles, you won't ever need to bin anything as there's always alternative options.

3 |  Organise. So now you have your precious pieces that survived the cull don't just chuck them back in the wardrobe in any old manner! Order them so that they're easy to find, for me personally for example I like putting all my denim together in style (e.g. skinnies, boyf) then colour order. Make sure they're clean and preferably ironed, that way they'll look more appealing when it comes to 'shopping your closet', a must do when attempting a minimal wardrobe. Another great trick is to put the hangers backwards when you first put them back in the closet, this way in six months times you can work out what hangers have been untouched so they haven't been worn and need to go (although if you live in the UK this obviously bars summer clothes! Our winters are looooong.)

how to start a minimal wardrobe


4 | Make a checklist. Do you have core basics that are missing/needs replacing? It's important to not adhere to those typical 'French Wardrobe' essentials lists when doing this if those pieces aren't your thing, as creating a minimal wardrobe is all about sticking to a style that's you. Although I will always champion the Breton if you've never worn or felt the need to own one don't go out and buy specifically because someone else says it's a 'must have'. Stay true to your own preferences, for example you may be a total dress person and maybe you're missing that perfect denim pinafore dress to layer in all seasons. Neutral colours will always be classics but maybe you're more into brights so work out colours that mix and match well together. Referring back to your moodboard is always useful for your checklist and again, split them into seasons. (See my 'Summer Wardrobe Essentials')

5 | Prioritise. Get those essentials sorted first before you buy the fun pieces (although a good navy sweater will always give me more pleasure than any party dress could!) I don't think it's really possible to start a 5 Piece Wardrobe unless you have your core basics nailed but don't rush out and get the first ones you see. They're important pieces that are the basis of your wardrobe so it's important to get them right...although they don't count as part of your 'clothing allowance' they still need as much, if not more, consideration as the fun, seasonal pieces. I don't suggest going to Primark to buy your basic tees but neither am I saying spend £50 on one either...almost my entire closet is from the high street, you can get some great quality pieces that will last you years. I may do a post on my favourite places if anyone's interested? Once you've got these nailed, then your minimal wardrobe journey can begin!

I hope that helps anyone else attempting this kind of thing! I know I'm probably coming across as a right know it all but those are just the things that have helped me get started. I'm certainly no expert because my wardrobe is far from minimal. I still own a lot of clothes, I mean how many grey t-shirts does one really need? I keep them because they're 'essentials' but 5 is maybe a tad excessive. I think I'll do a post on my existing wardrobe to help me narrow things down. Do let me know if you have any tips to share and if you like this kind of post! I know it's a bit of a long 'un...

Josie x





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25 comments:

  1. Great tips, Josie. Thanks for sharing these, and good for you for doing this. I need to simplify big time!

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  2. Eeep Josie! I really need to do this. I think I'm going to wait until I have some time off, I really want a classic wardrobe (with some wacky bits thrown in for fun!)



    Tara xo

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  3. Helpfull post! I really need to clean my wardrobe!

    littletasteofbeauty.blogspot.it

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  4. Nice tips, thx for sharing. Lovely blog here btw! Would you like to follow each other on GFC? Please let me know on my blog so I can follow back. Thank you.
    xox
    Lenya
    FashionDreams&Lifestyle

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  5. Awesome post! I need help with this as I am currently trying to buy classic pieces only! xx
    fashiontatt.blogspot.com

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  6. These are really good tips, I try to have clear out regularly (although I'm pretty bad at hoarding things!) I'd love to read about good places to find basics, I think that would be really helpful :) xx

    Toasty

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  7. Great post Josie. I'm a bit of a maximalist, but have had a little clear out recently. xx

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  8. Great post, cool tips thanks for sharing I've had a clear out recently xx

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  9. Christina Langner25 October 2014 at 12:38

    I love those tips, defo have to empty my closet soon again, to much items. I really dont wear no more and too many basic wardrobe pieces missing!

    Much love xxx
    CHRISTINANISTA.COM

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  10. I completely agree that being organised is the best method for creating a capsule wardrobe.

    Lizzie's Daily Blog

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  11. Thanks for sharing all these useful tips, creating a mood board is a great idea! <3

    Please check out my new post if you can;

    http://electricsunrise.blogspot.co.uk

    x

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  12. I read enjoyed reading this. Oh I could do with your help sorting out mine. I start with good intensions and then I think I might wear that one day. You see and then I end up throwing nothing. I can't be bothered selling on eBay so I end up keeping everything. The worst is I don't even end up wearing them bad me. Hope you are well. Lucy x

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  13. beautiful photos! my wardrobe really got minimal looking when I used to work at american apparel. they have a lot of great basics~

    xx Sera | STARDUSTBOHEMIAN.COM

    (IG: @TheStardustBohemian)

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  14. What a great idea. I have so many clothes that I need to do this. I fail however every time that I try to minimise my wardrobe. You have some amazing resilience. I start off well and then I think oh I might wear this if I loose some weight, this might come back into fashion and on and on. I need your help to cul the wardrobe. I like the idea that it means that I can buy more though Lucy x

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  15. I loved this post and the tips are so helpful! Thanks for sharing! xx

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  16. very nice! and you are definitely a queen to minimal! charming post!

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  17. These are such good tips, I always try and by classic minimal pieces but my wardrobe is still a mess! A definate clear out is needed! xo

    http://rachelnicole.co.uk/

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  18. Fab post doll! :D I've been trying to simplify my wardrobe a bit lately... Unfortunately I just like having lots of dresses to choose from!!! I'm gonna give it another shot though and try out your tips :) xx

    Little Miss Katy | UK Lifestyle & Fashion

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  19. ooh i love havin' a good old stalk/catch up on your blog. loooved this post! i need to have another wardrobe clearout as last time didn't feel like enough. i'm also getting rid of the majority of my flat shoes and swapping them for a few decent, staple pairs as i never wear the ones i have!

    from helen at thelovecatsinc.com xx

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  20. I desperately need to do this. I dream of a colour co-ordinated, Breton stripe-punctuated capsule wardrobe. Realistically, it's unlikely to happen, being a shopping obsessive! x

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  21. Ahh fab post! Wish I was a minimalist, and wish I could pull off such a casual but sleek style. Instead my wardrobe is full of weird clashing prints and stupid accessories haha. I would say my essentials are my boyfriend jeans and my high waisted shorts. But also my black milk leggings to be fair... :P

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  22. I needed these tips! I'm awful at clearing out my wardrobe and so many of my clothes clash that I deffo need to strip it back to the basics :( I see pretty things and buy them then realise nothing else what so ever matches! xx

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  23. I love this! Thanks for the great tips, Josie!! :)

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  24. really loved reading this post, i am so with you on the grey tee thing. but sometimes when you find a tee and it's that *at the time* perfect grey and so soft and will work so well with almost everything, it goes into ones basket... i might have to take your advice on board with the sorting out and then starting with the essential pieces.. look forward to more posts like this xx

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  25. I like the black top on the last row.

    the-renaissance-of-inner-fashion.blogspot.co.uk

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