Adopting minimalist fashion is a huge part switching over to living a more minimal lifestyle. But it’s more than just raiding your closets and starting to throw away all your clothes you no longer wear.
So if you’re just about to start your minimalist wardrobe, what kind of looks should you be going for? And how exactly does a minimalist dress anyway?
We’re going to run through some of the basic premises of minimalist fashion (although there’s no set rules, there’s definitely some common features and trends).
Declutter your Closet
Before you get started deciding what you want to wear, you need to decide what you don’t want to wear. This is important, as it can set the trend for your entire closet.
A minimalistic style relies on making the most out of few clothes. Meaning that you’ll first want to decide what you like wearing the most – whether that’s dress shirts or t-shirts, jeans or leggings, and dresses or jumpsuits.
You should be able to make up the foundations of your new closet from your old closet, as your taste likely won’t vary that much (though in some cases, a full overhaul may be needed).
If you begin to find it difficult, set yourself a timer to ensure that you’re sticking to the plan. You can also check out these downsizing wardrobe tips for more advice.
Only keep the essentials that you want at the core of your personal style, and get rid of all the clothes that are in the “maybe” pile if you no longer wear them regularly. It’s a good idea to donate them to your local charity if you can.
No-one wants a closet filled with clothes you never wear. So, make sure you clear before you buy more stuff. And, when you do buy more stuff, you need to opt for the right items.
Get the Basics Right
After you’ve finished getting rid of all the items you no longer need, you can then start with the basics of your new wardrobe.
When it comes to minimalist fashion, there are four rules that I usually suggest people stick to – this applies for both men and women.
- Base your choices around your own taste. Start by choosing your favorite pieces of clothing, and then fill in the rest of your closet with things that match.
- Stick with solid colors. You’ll be wearing the same clothes routinely, and sticking with plain colors means your clothes will almost always match.
- Avoid logos and flashy designs. You can still keep things stylish without having to wear the latest designer coats and bags.
- Keep it simple. At the center of minimalist style is simplicity,
If you follow these basic tips no matter what the season, you should be good to go.
Prepare for Rotation
A capsule wardrobe is designed to make the most out of a small selection of clothing. This means that you can mix and match your different items with each other to produce different outfits.
Capsule wardrobes allow you to combine your minimalist closet together with style. For example – five white t-shirts and five black pairs of pants can be put together to create five different outfits, no matter how you pair them.
But five different color t-shirts, with five different color pairs of pants, can be combined to create 25 different outfits.
So, keep this in mind, but also remember that you need your capsule wardrobe items to actually look good with each other (orange and green will never match!).
Getting a few pairs of jeans are often the best option for this, as they go with pretty much anything.
You’ll also want to stick with plain colors as opposed to anything too flashy – a minimalist wardrobe is intended to be understated.
Have the Right Accessories
Having a minimalist wardrobe doesn’t mean you’ll stop standing out from the crowd completely, and actually it can accentuate the other accessories that you’re wearing.
A plain t-shirt and jeans can make the right pair of shoes look amazing, and highlight them as the focus of your outfit.
The same can be said for accessories like jewellery, so if you have a favorite bracelet or set of earrings, a minimal closet can help to highlight them.
This is also the case for watches too, which always look smart with any minimalist outfit.
Everyone needs one Great Coat
An essential part of minimalist fashion, the perfect coat depends on your location. New Yorkers may need something a little heavier than those based in Texas, for example.
A great coat can be worn with pretty much any outfit, and for this choosing one solid color is usually a good choice. Remember that you’ll be wearing it often, so it really needs to match all your clothes well if you want to minimize the clothing items in your wardrobe.
Find something that works for both casual dates and special occasions – many minimalists love a trenchcoat or an oversized wool coat.
Though you aren’t sworn to only have one coat – there is no magic number – dealing with fewer options is part of moving towards a minimalist wardrobe.
Comfortable shoes are a must
As you grow older, your fashion sense compromises a little bit, from what you find attractive to what you find comfortable.
This is definitely true in the shoe compartment at least, so copping yourself a comfy pair of shoes is definitely needed.
What minimalist shoes these are will completely depend on your style. If you love to wear a dress, this could be a simple pair of espadrilles – for jeans-lovers, a casual pair of white or black sneakers is sure to fit in with any look.
Sticking with a solid color can help when creating your minimal wardrobe too. Opting for a few great pairs of shoes is definitely a necessary part of minimalist and capsule wardrobes.
Avoiding fast fashion
Though for many the goal of minimalism is less clutter and less stress, another common reason why people are attracted to the lifestyle is that it can be beneficial to the environment.
It’s no secret that the fast fashion industry is bad for the environment, and it’s responsible for a lot of carbon emissions. Abandoning fast fashion can be a good way to combat this and do your part.
What this really entails goes hand in hand with minimalism anyway – buying fewer clothes of a much higher quality than standard. So, ditching in favor of something more ethical may be worth considering.
Make the most of recycled materials
Many minimalist styles are focussed around making the most of pre-owned or recycled clothes.
Though not a necessity, this can be the best way to still buy more clothes for your closet without having to worry about its impact on the environment.
Patagonia is a good example of a brand that uses recycled fabrics to make their clothing items. Before you buy clothes, be sure to do a little research on this if using recycled clothing is important to you.
Find your own path
We’ve gone through the basics above, but there’s one thing that’s going to take precedence over everything else – you need to find your own path. Whether you prefer the classic chic style or something different, only you can decide.
Everyone embarks on their own minimalist journey, and no two journeys are alike. If you want to opt for secondhand clothes and cheaper prices, then that’s up to you.
And likewise, if you prefer a smaller closet with expensive high quality items, that’s also entirely your choice – don’t let others dictate your own experience.
In conclusion, everyone needs to create their own unique minimalist style, though there’s no harm in looking towards others as a form of inspiration.
Even though you’re you can still pick up occasional trendy pieces of clothing if you’re looking to turn heads at an event.