minimalist wardrobe

6 Foundational Tips On How To Have a Minimalist Wardrobe

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Let’s admit it. Many of us tend to shop for new clothes on a regular basis, but have a hard time letting go of old pieces. The result? An overflowing wardrobe with clothes that take up a lot of space, while only a small fraction of your clothes actually get worn. If that sounds like you, let me help you with some tips on how to have a minimalist wardrobe that is lean but still enough to feel fashionable, as well as bring to your attention some mindset shifts you may need to make.

1. Know Your Personal Style

Do you lean more towards classic pieces? If so, then it’s probably time you discard a good chunk of your bohemian-style clothes that you rarely wear anyway. Knowing your personal style helps you assess what you really want and manage your clothes based on that, and not based on fashion trends.

So, take a good look at your wardrobe and see which pieces really align with you as a person. From tops to dresses to jeans to every fashion item, they should be about you and what you feel comfortable in more than what magazines and social media say.

Because at the end of the day, a full wardrobe that does not truly reflect who you are is not worth the space you are giving it-in your closet or in your life.

Your wardrobe should be about you, your personality, lifestyle, and aspirations. If it has become nothing more than a collection of brands and styles without rhyme or reason, then it’s time to rethink your closet!

2. Consider Frequency of Use

If your Monday-to-Friday work requires you to wear a professional dress, then there’s no practical reason for you to keep a dozen of ripped jeans or sparkly skirts in your closet that don’t really have a place in your office attire. That’s just an example, of course, but the idea is that your wardrobe needs to be streamlined for your main lifestyle.

Along with thinking about how often you wear your items, think about how many of the same you have too. You love that skirt so much you got it in 10 different colors, but how often do you actually wear each of them? Just keep the ones that match most of your tops and get rid of the others. Or keep a few you like for weekend dates or parties. Don’t stuff your wardrobe as it’s not only impractical but also costly. 

Related: 7 Minimalist Outfit Ideas for Every Day This Week

3. Go for Versatility

A good way to have a minimalist wardrobe is to have versatile clothes that you can mix and match or use for multiple occasions. A dress that can be worn to work during the day and for a date at night is one less dress in your closet!

Always have this in mind whenever you go shopping or when you’re choosing which ones to keep or discard. Take the basic white turtle neck top for example. This one top can give you multiple looks from casual to glam by simply matching it with other clothing pieces like jeans or flowy skirts or layering it with a jacket or a poncho.

As another example, ever heard of a faux collar? This tiny fashion piece can tweak the look of many of your tops especially those with simple necklines. Easily convert your basic round neck tee to a dressy collared top by wearing it like a necklace over your décolletage. Less expense, fewer clothes, but more style options!

4. Think Before Buying

Oftentimes, you may find yourself buying clothes on impulse and just because it makes you feel good. It’s time to break this habit. Clothes should serve their purpose and not just add to your ever-growing closet.

Think about how much space and money you could save if you didn’t buy that specific piece. Ask questions like, “Where will I wear this, and is it comfortable enough to be worn often?” before making that purchase.

An item on sale doesn’t mean you need it. A common habit of impulse buyers is shopping without giving the purchase a thought, and then justifying it later by thinking “At least I got it at a discounted price”.

The truth is, it is just an unnecessary expense, especially if you don’t really need it. Be wise. Don’t buy something just because you can afford it right now.

Related: Is Your Shopping Getting Out of Control? Here’s How To Get It Back on Track

5. Go for Fewer Choices, Lesser Headaches

Let’s admit it. Seeing lots of stuff in front of you multiplies your mixing and matching options. This makes you come up with various pairing ideas that require more time in your decision-making process. Though this can be fun, having fewer options will make the process quicker and easier.

And if you’re someone with a busy schedule, spending too much time thinking and picking what you should wear as you gaze at your massive collection is wasting a precious resource -those extra minutes or hours you could have spent on something more important. So reduce your options to those that really matter to make it easier for you to choose!

Too many clothing items competing for space in your closet are probably just clutter that complicates your wardrobe. Putting them away or streamlining them may help simplify your life.   

6. Know That Minimalist isn’t Boring

If you’re open to having a minimalist wardrobe but are afraid to downsize, incorporating a few interesting accessories could do the trick. A simple necklace, brooch, or scarf could give your fresh white top a new look. Let your sense of creativity multiply your looks and your closet space will thank you for it! 

The key is keeping only the essentials. A good wardrobe has more classic pieces to your liking and just a few of the trendy stuff so you can keep things minimal yet never go out of style. Having a minimalist wardrobe could actually bring out a fresh sense of style that you never thought you had!

Ready to let go?

You can sell the clothes you decided to part with online. You can also donate them to charity or repurpose some and store them elsewhere. Going minimalist and getting rid of some of your stuff can actually add more to your life in many ways.

If you’re struggling with what should be in your wardrobe and what you should get rid of, then check out my eBook, How to Build a Wardrobe from Scratch, where I go over everything you need to know to create a classic and timeless wardrobe “full” of pieces you’ll wear again and again!

minimalist wardrobe


Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.