There are two recurring times in my life when I consider becoming a minimalist. First, whenever I move somewhere new and receive a harsh reality check with the number of boxes labeled just “shoes” or “outerwear.” Second is every time I have to do laundry. Other than that, about 95 percent of my days I’m OK with owning an excessive amount of clothing. But I get it, minimalism is a thing—a trendy thing, in fact. I’m not talking about minimalism in the sartorial sense (neutrals, sleek silhouettes, minimal embellishments), but rather, in terms of literally owning fewer clothes.
Becoming a wardrobe minimalist means creating a tailored capsule collection and not succumbing to hanging onto the one-occasion-type pieces (R.I.P bridesmaid dress that you never really liked anyway). The goal of streamlining your closet this way is to strictly own pieces that you enjoy wearing often, fit you, and flatter you. It’s not about limiting yourself to an all-black wardrobe or pieces without any pizazz, because let’s be honest—we all love a little shimmer or pop of color every now and then!
So, why should a maximalist fashionista consider editing her wardrobe down to a capsule collection? I have five reasons why, and three ways you can easily become your version of a minimalist—even if that includes polka dots and sequin jumpsuits.
The Pros of Owning Less
Cut Down on Getting-Ready Time
We could all use a couple extra minutes of sleep or Netflix, so minimizing the time you spend staring at your overflowing closet, thinking you have nothing to wear, could really improve your getting-ready routine. Knowing exactly what you have in your closet will save you time, negate any confusion or indecision, and allow time for a more important or enjoyable activity.
My closet is currently a (somewhat stressful) jigsaw puzzle. If you move one piece incorrectly, an entire stack of clothes will likely tumble over, and I’ll never be able to close my closet door again. A minimalist wardrobe saves space, is less cluttered, and your bedroom feng shui will return.
When I first moved to New York, I had only one suitcase and a capsule wardrobe. I quickly learned to get more creative layering and pairing pieces together that I never thought to do before, and I ended up using each one so much more than I ever do now with a single item. Having a limited amount of clothing will take away distractions, and you’ll be able to focus on the key pieces in front of you and find new ways to wear them.
Enjoy Your Outfit More
With fewer decisions to make, you’ll naturally be less stressed and therefore more satisfied with the decisions you make. We know uniform dressing is highly popular among busy, powerful people such as Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg, and the same effect can translate to your life—chilling you out and making you more focused and less frazzled.
Save (Lots of) Cash
If you’re not buying clothes, you’ll save money (at least that’s the plan). Instead of going on a fast-fashion shopping spree because that dress you absolutely need is on sale, or splurging on items you’ll wear only a couple times, that money can be spent on finding key items to create your capsule wardrobe—or go toward something even better, like that European vacation you keep daydreaming about.
How to Cut Down on What You Own
Edit, Edit, Edit!
Cut the fat in your closet. Let go of the items that you never or rarely wear, and those “what if” or “just in case” pieces. Make sure that all the pieces in your wardrobe are things that you’d wear at least once or twice in a month (weather permitting, of course).
Organize your closet in a way that makes the most sense based on how you get dressed. Color code, categorize by style, or create outfits—do whatever makes the most sense for an efficient dressing routine. Not sure where to start? We’ve got ideas.
Don’t Overthink It
It can be daunting to get rid of a majority of your clothes. Our clothes can feel like a safety net for so many of us who get attached to them just by dint of owning them for awhile—but minimizing your wardrobe doesn’t have to minimize your personal style. Have fun with it, mix and match, and focus on the satisfying challenge of creating new looks with the pieces you love.