A Minimalist Wardrobe Tour

March 05, 2020

A Minimalist Wardrobe Tour

I’ve had a sustainable minimal wardrobe for several years now. I said goodbye to fast fashion in 2015, thrift for what I need whenever possible, and support independent designers as much as I can. Tracking my wardrobe has helped in various ways.

  · it’s shown me exactly what I own and how much
  · it's helped identify things I should get rid of
  · it’s made it easier to see gaps in my wardrobe
  · it’s identified the favourites I always wear
  · it’s put a stop to frivolous spending

I recommend you audit your wardrobe in this way. Although having a list of everything you own might seem excessive, it shows you just how much you have. We have a tendency to severely underestimated the amount of belongings we own and this is a foolproof way of taking responsibility for our possessions.


This is the entire contents of my wardrobe. All 61 items including clothes, shoes, and bags. Not including lingerie, base layers, and accessories. For some people my wardrobe will appear shockingly sparse. Others will wonder why I call myself a minimalist at all with such a vast amount of clothing. It is what it is. Simple living looks different to everyone. I’m not an extreme minimalist and a single pair of shoes, one coat, and a handful of t-shirts and jeans just won’t cut it for my lifestyle.

What I have serves me very well for where I live and the lifestyle I have. I find many minimalists don’t tend to prioritise having a social life or self-expression through style, but I do. Spending time with my friends and my partner is important to me, and I like to dress up for these occasions. I'm a self-employed jeweller so I don't have a work uniform, which provides me with freedom in my day-to-day wardrobe.


A Minimalist Wardrobe Tour



My style shifted in certain areas last year and as a result my wardrobe grew. I started wearing trousers for the first time in over a decade and I incorporated a little colour so my wardrobe is sitting at a heavier 61 items compared to previous years where it was less than 50. I've worked hard at curating an all-seasons wardrobe that can be, on the most part, worn throughout the seasons. I don't believe in off-season storage so everything I own is always accessible in my wardrobe.

The benefit of having a slightly larger minimalist wardrobe is that I don’t run out of things to wear and I don’t have to do multiple laundry washes every week. I don’t get tired of wearing the same item every day and I don’t wear out my favourite pieces as quickly. I have options for special occasions that mean I’m not wearing my everyday clothes to important life events.

If I were to be starting from scratch, I wouldn't go out and buy every single piece I own now but I'm glad I have them. This is what my beginner capsule wardrobe would look like with all my favourite, most worn pieces.




A Minimalist Wardrobe Tour

I’ve linked to the actual item I own whenever possible, an alternative if the original isn’t available or an ethical option if it’s an old fast fashion purchase. 'Added' means a new purchase made by me, 'gifted' means an item gifted to me by a brand, and 'thrifted' means a second-hand purchase.



Outerwear

All Saints Nahara Coat (added in 2009)
Stutterheim Mosebacke Raincoat (gifted in 2019)
Elizabeth Suzann Duster (gifted in 2016)
ARV Blazer (gifted in 2016)
MUJI Cocoon Coat (thrifted in 2015)



Knitwear

Everlane ReNew Sweatshirt (gifted in 2019)
Know The Origin Crop Jumper (gifted in 2017)
Paisie Funnel Neck Jumper (added in 2015)
Vintage Striped Jumper (thrifted in 2019)
Vintage Cream Jumper (thrifted in 2019
Everlane ReNew Teddy Jumper (gifted in 2019)
TopShop Pink Jumper (thrifted in 2018)
H&M Sage Crop Jumper (thrifted in 2019)
Everlane Chunky Cardigan (added in 2019)
Boden Crop Cardigan (thrifted in 2017)
Dorsu Wrap Cardigan (gifted in 2019



Tops

Uniqlo Shirt (thrifted in 2018)
Everlane Collarless Shirt (gifted in 2019)
MUJI Boxy Top (gifted in 2019)
Only Child Relaxed Top (gifted in 2016)
Birdsong 'Dress In Protest' T-Shirt (gifted in 2019)
Vintage Button Back Shirt (thrifted in 2016)
Lighthouse Bayside Shirt (gifted in 2019)
Vintage Polka-Dot Shirt (thrifted in 2018)
People Tree Striped Pink Shirt (gifted in 2019)
Hobbs Linen Oatmeal Top (thrifted in 2019)
Hobbs Linen Mint Top (thrifted in 2019)



Bottoms

Uniqlo Tapered Trousers (thrifted in 2019)
MUJI Culottes (added in 2018)
MUJI Maxi Skirt (added in 2020)
Avec Clyde Jumpsuit (gifted in 2019)
Vintage Pleated Midi Skirt (thrifted in 2015)
Tricotage Paper Bag Midi Skirt (added in 2016)



Dresses

Ivanna Helsinki Bell-Sleeve Dress (added in 2011)
Everlane Shirt Dress (gifted in 2016)
Monki A-Line Dress (added in 2010)
COS A-Line Dress (added in 2016)
Ivanna Helsinki Button Down Dress (added in 2011)
MUJI Sleeveless Midi Dress (added in 2016
JD Williams Sleeveless Dress (added in 2016
Tonle Strappy Dress (gifted in 2018)
Everlane Poplin Dress (gifted in 2019)
Uniqlo Striped Dress (thrifted in 2018)
The WhitePepper Astral Print Dress (added in 2015)
Filosofia Maxi Dress (gifted in 2019)
COS Pink Dress (thrifted in 2019)



Shoes

Birkenstock Sandals (added in 2015)
Wills T-Bar Loafers (added in 2014)
Grensen Clara Loafers (gifted in 2020)
Dr. Martens 1461 Shoes (added in 2014)
Matt & Nat Mules (added in 2018)
Wills Chelsea Boots (gifted in 2016)
Stutterheim Rain Boots (gifted in 2019)
Po Zu Sandals (gifted in 2019)
TOMS Espadrilles (gifted in 2019



Bags

Kula Bridgewater Backpack (gifted in 2019)
Kanken Mini (added in 2014)
Everlane Tote Bag (gifted in 2016)
Matt & Nat Drew Handbag (added in 2018)
Ted Baker Clutch (added in 2016)


One of the biggest lies about having a minimalist wardrobe is the idea that you’ll never make another mistake about what to buy again. Yet no matter how carefully we consider our purchases, mistakes happen. Not everything works out the way we expect it to. Our lives change, our style grows, and we find ourselves with clothes we no longer want or wear.

But what I can see from keeping track of my wardrobe is how cohesive it has become over time. Having been intentional about what I acquire with a clear colour palette in mind, I've allowed my personal style to develop and in the process I've created a wardrobe that's versatile and sustainably made.


At the start of the year, I went through and decluttered my wardrobe. There are a couple of items I’m giving myself the year to think it over too. I don’t like decluttering items just to whittle down my wardrobe head count. It’s privilege that puts us in a position where we find ourselves with too much stuff. It’s important to declutter responsibly. Anything I’m letting go of is being sold on Depop or eBay and the proceeds will be donated to Crisis UK.




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