clothing

5 minimalist tips for your wardrobe

Today, we’re gonna take a close look at your wardrobe. How much of what is in there do you actually love and wear regularly? A lot of people love to ship for clothes, but don’t even wear half of what they buy regulary. That’s not only a waste of closet space, but also a huge waste of money and resources.  I will share 5 minimalist tips to put together a more sustainable and minimal wardrobe full of items that you actually love to wear. Call it a capsule wardrobe or just a good use of closet space and money: this way you will never find yourself standing in the room with a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear.

#1 Major Cleaning

shoes

The very first step of every decluttering mission is a major cleaning. Take all the time you need to really clean out the closets and take a long and hard look at your wardrobe. You can take on a Marie Kondo approach and ask yourself with each item if it sparks joy, but you can also go about it the old-fashioned way and divide everything you own into three piles: one to keep, one to toss and one you maybe want to hold on to. Look at every item and really commit to get rid of everything that is either too big or too small, is damaged, isn’t comfortable or isn’t your style. When you go about it like this, you will end up with the items that you actually like to wear and that you feel good in. You can also get a sense of the essential items that are missing from your wardrobe, like some good basic shirts or a pair of jeans. That way you create a wardrobe that has all the essentials. Everything that you don’t need anymore can be donated, either to friends or family or to a charity of your choice.

#2 Capsule Wardrobe

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Putting together a capsule wardrobe is really on trend these days. A capsule wardrobe is an efficient and minimal wardrobe that consists of items that really fit you, your style and the season and go really well together too. It is like having a wardrobe full of your favorite items that can be mixed and matched with each other. By only selecting a few items for this wardrobe you never have to experience stress when chosing an outfit: everything matches and looks good on you. You will always have an outfit for every occassion ready. And an added bonus: by just shopping for a select number of items, you can actually save money and invest in fashion that is more durable and sustainable.

#3 Become a Critical Consumer

clothing

Although most people love to shop, it is not the most sustainable hobby to have. During shopping you tend to let yourself be mislead and seduced by bargains and smart tricks stores use to lure costumers. You don’t always make the best choices stylewise or moneywise, and a lot of people certainly don’t make the best choices for the environment and workers that make the clothes. Sure, labour conditions and environmental impact is not really on your mind when going out for a day of shopping, but it really should be. By giving in to impulses and by shopping for bargains, you are sustaining the fast fashion industry that is all about making money and not at all about paying the workers a liveable wage or caring about the environment. Whenever you go shopping from now on, take a moment before you buy something. Do you really need it and want it? Is it worth the money? Isn’t it unrealistically cheap? Where is it made and by who? Try to invest in items that are made by brands that actually do care and do try to make a difference in the industry. Sure, you will have to pay a bit more, but you will get so much in return, not to mention karma points! You can find an overview of some sustainable fashion brands in this article of the Huffington Post and on Racked. Ofcourse, you can also choose to buy more second hand and vintage items. This way you make good use of the resources and products that are already on the market.

#4 Choose to Borrow or Swap

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If a capsule wardrobe is not your thing, or if you are really in need of a wardrobe update, you can always choose other ways to extend your wardrobe that do not involve buying new stuff. Maybe you can get into swapping clothes with other people with a similar style and size? Or you can borrow clothing from friends or through a network in your neighbourhood. Increasingly more people and events organize a clothing swap party where a group of people get together to swap items with each other. You can also use a popular platform or an app to swap with people in your proximity. Every country has its own platforms to use, just use Google to discover what is possible in your city and country.

#5 Challenge Yourself

clothing store

If you are committed to being a more critical consumer, you can challenge yourself to look more critically at today’s fashion and the clothing industry or your own wardrobe. There are numerous challenges that you can use to dive into this strange world of fashion and discover what works and doesn’t work for you. This way you become more aware of your consumerism and discover new and exciting ways to revive your wardrobe in the most sustainable and minimal way.

More minimalist tips for decluttering your house:



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  1. This is a Sham

    This is really something I’d like to implement. I rarely buy clothing, yet, my cupboards are full and I never have anything to wear.

    Recently I unpacked and found a hoard of clothes I don’t need but am hanging on to for strange reasons. Filled two big bags (refusal bags!) But the cupboard seems just as full. I’ll need to be more critical.

  2. Daiana Brojt

    I loved your post, super helpful and interesting. I am in the process of decluttering my wardrobe and I am trying to apply the minimalist perspective since I read about the Marie Kondo method. Definitely something to think about!

  3. Lily

    Do you have any tips for sticking to a capsule wardrobe? I’ve tried it a few times but I can never keep it up. And thank you for bringing up sustainable fashion! I’ve been trying to work on that too, will definitely check out the links.

    • awkwardduckling

      Great to hear! From what I see and hear in my environment and from personal experience, I know that it can help to keep a record of how often you actually wear a piece from your capsule wardrobe. That way you get an impression of which items you actually love to wear and work well with other items. When it’s time to make a capsule for a new season, you can take this information into account. It may take some seasons, but you will definitely get the hang of you personal style and how to build your ultimate capsule wardrobe. Give yourself some time to get used to dealing with the capsule as well. Try not to buy anything else and stick with it to really get into it.

  4. Jaleh

    LOVE this post!! I’ve been all about the capsule wardrobe lately – it’s cut my shopping expenses so much and made picking outfits so much easier. I feel like I look better & more put-together too! Definitely going to keep at it this year & stick to buying more classic pieces to mix & match 🙂

  5. Michelle

    I lovvvve this post! My entire house is minimalistic — EXCEPT for my wardrobe! I was just saying to my fiancé last night that I had to try to sort through my clothes and get rid of the ones that I don’t wear, because I don’t seem to wear like 90% of them!

    • awkwardduckling

      I think everyone minimalist has one or more weak points, I know I have. Being aware of it is the first step and it is such a waste to not wear all of those clothes. Maybe someone else in your circle would be happy with them?

  6. shirley

    Hello Tessa, thank you for sharing useful tips with us. I will surely try your tips and share with my family and friends. Once again thank you. Keep sharing.


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