Recently I wrote a guest post on Joshua Becker’s site, Becoming Minimalist. In preparation for writing my guest post, I spent some time exploring Joshua’s information and his journey to becoming a minimalist. First, I spent many hours watching his YouTube channel.
Second, I spent time reading his blog and I found inspiration to minimize my wardrobe. These two articles started me off on contemplated just how I could do it:
- How Many Clothes Do I Need? A Practical Guide to Owning Fewer Clothes
- 8 Reasons Successful People Wear the Same Clothes Every Day
Then I was directed to this post by Denaye Barahona about how she embraced a minimalist wardrobe. It was really her post, which is full of pictures, that gave me the final motivation to take the plunge and get rid of a bunch of clothes in favor of more simplistic decisions in the mornings. Additionally, I timed this with my recent move which is a fine time to declutter.
Some before pictures
Identifying what I like
I really began this process by thinking about what types of clothing I like. This way, rather than just throwing away random things, I can be thoughtful about what types of items will work in my wardrobe. For some time, I’ve been thinking that if I had to choose between black or brown shoes, I’d choose brown. I’d also choose a brown purse and a brown belt. That made this process so much easier knowing what my foundational color is.
So I love earth tones (browns, tans, and olive green and gray) but I also know I like myself in a few colors such as red and blue. That being said, I decided my wardrobe around earth tones with a sprinkle of red and blue for some flavor.
The good news in identifying what I like is that I had most of these things already. I had brown shoes and plenty of earth tone clothing as well as some red & blue items.
However, I did identify some holes to fill in before I could begin thinning things out…
Items I purchased before the thinning could begin
I added two pairs of brown shoes.
Pants are my problem child! I wear pants often but I’m always in search of the perfect pant. I am about 5ft 10in tall and so I really need tall size pants which are not so easily found in stores. The good news is that tall sizes can easily be bought online; however, that doesn’t allow for trying on before purchasing.
While I had a ton of pants, I identified that I loved only one pair. Unfortunately, it was no longer available. So I began my online search. I was even willing to pay a higher price for the perfect pant. My first purchase was a fail. I knew immediately when I tried them on I didn’t like them.
My second online store find was more hopeful. So much so I bought 4 pairs of pants. I scurried home from work to try them on when they arrived. Again these were higher-priced purchases so I was assuming better success. Not! I didn’t like a single one of them so again I found myself at UPS with returns.
The third times a charm they say and it rang true for me! I decided to look online with Old Navy and found 2 pairs of Khakis and 2 pairs of dressier pants in tall sizes. Each pair are business casual (my work attire) and in my color scheme.
Furthermore, they fit great! As a bonus, they were far better priced than the first two higher-end pants I purchased and didn’t like.
Now that I’ve got what I needed, I could begin the decluttering…
Let the fun begin
I find that getting rid of stuff is quite enjoyable. Here is the breakdown of what I got rid of:
- 13 pairs of pants – whaaaat?!? I had 13 pairs of pants that I didn’t really love.
- 4 skirts
- 2 jackets
- 3 sweaters/sweatshirts
- 7 tops
- 5 shoes, 3 of which were black
- 3 belts
Since pictures speak 1,000 words, here is what I got rid of…
I have a friend who runs a program in one of the local women’s recovery/sober houses. I gave her my discarded but good quality clothing. Many of my clothes were business casual and these ladies will soon be looking for jobs. I’m happy to help give them a good start. 🙂
What I’m Left With
Please keep in mind this is round one of my new minimalist wardrobe but it’s a good start for me. I hope to do some further thinning in the future. As I am now wearing fewer items, I’m hoping to narrow in on my favs, and get rid of more.
While I identified that my main foundational color is brown, I did keep one pair of black pants, one black dress, two black skirts, several black tops and three pairs of black shoes. Still seems like a lot of black for a gal who’s not really into black, eh?
I don’t mind keeping black tops because they go with khakis but my goal with black is to get down to the following or less:
- One pair of black pants
- Um, one black dress because apparently every lady needs one
- Uno black skirt
- And you guessed it, one pair of black shoes
My favorite pants left in my wardrobe are tan, olive green, gray, and navy. All go with brown shoes, earth tones, reds, and blues.
My tops range from white to black with my biggest spectrum being gray. I simply love gray! It goes with everything and is so versatile. Additionally, I have some red, blue and green tops.
Now, most of my items can be worn with one another and that was my goal.
We all tend to gravitate towards our favorites time and time again. For me, anything extra became unnecessary fluff that just aids in decision fatigue.
Some after pictures
Some obvious benefits
As I embrace less with my wardrobe I can see the benefits being:
- Simpler decisions on what to wear
- Loving what I wear every day
- Less shopping
- Saving money
- Reduced consumption
- Less waste
- More time for hobbies I love
I’m loving my new home and already loving my simpler wardrobe. My mornings are easier and I’m happy with my appearance decisions throughout the day. If I wake up late, I can throw something together quickly and it works. Lastly, I have less to take care of.
As I’ve been inspired to minimize my wardrobe, I’ve also minimized my makeup routine (future post). I can now get ready (shower, dress, hair & makeup) in 15-minutes flat which is a lovely small amount of time in which to feel confidently good about my appearance. Here’s one final shot of me after my 15-minute routine. Til next time, happy decluttering…