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How To Start A Minimalist Wardrobe For The New Year In 6 Steps

As this year is coming to an end, many of us are inspired to declutter our lives and simplify our daily routines. For me I can say that I began my decluttering journey as a way to quiet my mind, when my house is clean and decluttered I am more productive. One fantastic way to begin this journey is by starting a minimalist wardrobe. A minimalist wardrobe doesn’t just mean owning fewer clothes; it’s about curating a collection of versatile, high-quality items that reflect your personal style and make getting dressed a breeze. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll take you through the steps to kickstart your minimalist wardrobe journey for the new year and provide additional practical tips to help you along the way.

Step 1: Assess Your Current Wardrobe

Before you can build a minimalist wardrobe, you need to take stock of what you already have. Empty out your closet and lay out all your clothes. My version of this is literally throwing all of my stuff out of my closet into a huge pile, so that I see how much I have and feel the progress as I start cleaning up. This process can be eye-opening as you may discover items you forgot you owned. Now, evaluate each piece honestly:

  1. Does it fit? If it doesn’t fit or hasn’t fit for a long time, consider donating or selling it.
  2. Is it in good condition? Clothes with stains, holes, or significant wear should go. Consider repairing or altering items you love but that need some attention.
  3. Do you love it? If you don’t feel excited or confident when wearing it, it might be time to part ways. Your wardrobe should make you feel great every day.
  4. Have you worn it recently? If you haven’t worn it in the past year, it’s time to let it go. Holding onto unworn items creates clutter.
  5. Don’t follow trends… We tend to buy things because they are trendy and they may not always suit out actual style, sift through your items and get rid of anything that you bought but haven’t worn just because it was trendy.

Additionally, consider implementing the “one-in, one-out” rule. When you acquire a new item, commit to removing an existing one from your wardrobe to maintain its minimalist essence.

I call this my how many white shirts can you own category:
I put all my white shirts for example (or any similar items) in a pile and go through them. If i have two tank tops, I choose one. If i have 10 white shirts maybe ill keep my 3-4 favorites. And the rest go in hibernation, donation or get sold (if im lucky).

Step 2: Define Your Personal Style

A minimalist wardrobe should reflect your personal style, making it essential to define what that style is. Take some time to consider the colors, patterns, and silhouettes you’re drawn to. Collect inspiration from fashion magazines, Pinterest boards, or your favorite Instagram accounts. Once you have a clear vision, you can begin to build a wardrobe that aligns with your preferences.

For Example: I am really short, so most of the trendy pieces like low rise wide leg jeans for example make me look like I’m 5. So I save to my pinterest board ONLY items that i like but that I also think will look good on me, and not just the model in the picture.

Step 3: Identify Your Wardrobe Essentials

Minimalist wardrobes are built around a core set of versatile essentials. These are timeless pieces that can be mixed and matched to create a variety of outfits. Some common essentials include:

  1. White button-down shirt ( I prefer it be oversized)
  2. Jeans
  3. Black dress
  4. Blazer
  5. Coat
  6. Quality T-shirts
  7. Neutral-colored sweaters
  8. Comfortable sneakers
  9. Classic black or brown leather shoes
  10. A versatile handbag

Of course, your essentials will depend on your personal style and lifestyle, so adjust this list accordingly. Additionally, consider the climate of your region when selecting essentials to ensure they are suitable for year-round wear.

Step 4: Invest in Quality Over Quantity

One of the key principles of a minimalist wardrobe is quality over quantity. Instead of buying a lot of cheap, disposable items, invest in well-made, durable pieces. While this might mean spending more upfront, it often pays off in the long run because quality items last longer and look better. Look for fabrics like organic cotton, linen, and sustainable materials like Tencel, which are not only durable but also eco-friendly.

Another tip is to take advantage of sales and discounts on high-quality items. You can build your minimalist wardrobe over time, so keep an eye out for opportunities to snag timeless pieces at a lower cost.

Step 5: Declutter Regularly

Minimalism is an ongoing journey. As you maintain your minimalist wardrobe, make it a habit to declutter periodically. When you purchase a new item, consider letting go of an older one to maintain a balanced and manageable collection. Here are some tips for regular decluttering:

  1. Set a schedule: Dedicate time every season or at least twice a year to assess your wardrobe and make necessary adjustments.
  2. HibernationRotate seasonal items: Store off-season clothes in a separate space or under your bed to reduce visual clutter and make it easier to access what you need.
  3. Donate or recycle responsibly: When you declutter, consider donating gently used items to charities or recycling those that are beyond repair. Personally, I turn my far gone clothes into dog toys for my pups.

Step 6: Embrace Sustainability

Building a minimalist wardrobe is not just about simplifying your life; it’s also an opportunity to be more sustainable. Choose eco-friendly brands, thrift, and consider clothing swaps with friends to reduce your fashion footprint. Here are more sustainability tips for your minimalist wardrobe:

  1. Repair and upcycle: Learn basic sewing skills to repair minor damages or alter clothes to fit your changing style or body shape.
  2. Support ethical and sustainable brands: Research and choose brands that prioritize ethical labor practices and sustainable materials.
  3. Second-hand shopping: Thrifting is not only cost-effective but also eco-friendly. Vintage and second-hand shops offer unique pieces with character. Many thrift shops will give you credit if you drop off the clothes you just cleared out and then you can use that towards your new minimal wardrobe.
  4. Capsule wardrobes: Consider creating seasonal capsule wardrobes to maximize your current collection’s potential.

Starting a minimalist wardrobe for the new year is a thoughtful and rewarding endeavor. It allows you to declutter your space, simplify your daily routine, and embrace a more sustainable approach to fashion. By following these steps and incorporating additional practical tips, you’ll find that less truly can be more when it comes to your wardrobe, setting the stage for a more intentional and stylish year ahead. Embrace the journey toward a simplified and curated closet, and enjoy the benefits of a minimalist lifestyle. Comment below and let me know, what is your Favorite way to declutter?

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