Minimal Living: Wardrobe

Hey friends,

When I first sold my house and donated my stuff, I let go of an OBSCENE amount of clothing, shoes, and accessories.  You know those gigantic orange garbage bags that they use on construction sites?  I filled what felt like endless bags.  I wish I could give you an exact number, but I didn't even count them because getting rid of all that "good stuff" gave me tons of anxiety.  I felt ashamed, guilty, and uncomfortable.

I became very aware of the fact that I had a all of this stuff that I didn't even really like.  How many hours had I worked for all of that?  Think about where you actually want your hard earned income to go, or how you want to actually spend your valuable time.  When your money and time align with your true values you've hit the sweet spot.  I wasn't even close.

My wardrobe largely consisted of things I never wore, an unclear style, and pieces that didn't match my lifestyle.  I tended to wear the same 20-25 items, and rarely (if ever) touched the rest.  My clothes fell into a few categories:

  • Fantasy clothing - This is not as exciting or weird as it sounds... Kinda wish it was though!  I noticed that I had trendy items for "life in my head."  You know, like after I had watched The Hills I wanted to dress like LC? Or I wanted to pretend that I lived in Hawaii and had lots of boho beach dresses, but at the time I lived in cold and snowy New England.
  • Style that made no sense - I didn't buy my clothes with any sort of intention or plan.  I clearly shopped out of boredom or for retail therapy.  Nothing worked together.  
  • Clothing that did not fit properly or that was uncomfortable.  Lots of hanging onto clothing that was too small just in case I lost weight.  Enough said.

I took every article of my clothing that had not been worn in the past year and immediately donated it.  Everything else I weeded through. I currently have 30 pieces of clothing.  You read that right - 30!  This does not count bathing suits or yoga clothes (although my yoga clothing is not much these days either!)

And you know what? I actually have more style then I ever did because I know what I love, what I want to wear, how I want to feel, and what I reach for without fail over and over again.  I feel less stressed over clothing than I ever did.  With 30 pieces of clothing in my rotation, I have actually worn out multiple pieces and for the first time in years... I actually NEED to shop.

I'm excited to shop for intentional pieces!  I've put together a list of "wants" and "needs" and look forward to replacing items in my closet with new great finds.  I'll be sharing what I love here.

I've really danced around this topic for some time because part of me feels like clothing is just clothing. I've wondered, is talking about clothing insignificant in the realm of life?  With probably a great deal of unnecessary overanalyzing (because that's me!), I've realized that clothing and developing a sense of style ARE in fact important TO ME.  So why avoid talking about something I love for fear that someone might think I'm being vain or trivial?  I like clothes, and love having a minimal wardrobe!  Is a minimal wardrobe for everyone?  Of course not, but if you look at your closet and always feel like you have nothing to wear, or if you feel unsure of your style than I highly recommend trying out a minimal wardrobe.

Here are some tips if you're ready:

1) Don't focus on a specific number of items.  Minimalism isn't about hitting a certain number, and everyone's needs vary.  This isn't all or nothing. 

2) Pull out the clothing you always reach for without fail, and make sure to cover your lifestyle basics.  This means if you need certain work attire, please don't box it up.

3) Put everything else in a box and put it out of a site.  Let some time go by.  Take note of what you miss, what's missing, and what you need.  Take items out of storage as need be - don't be rigid.  You didn't fail if you have to dig something out.

4) It's your choice what you do with the items you boxed up at the end of this experiment.  You might not even miss them!  Don't let guilt stop you from donating clothing.  Think of it as a great donation to charity.  You're giving them a good home where they will be loved.  Your clothes aren't happy sitting in a closet.  They want to be worn!  Give them a good life. :)

I'm curious, have you ever tried going minimal with your wardrobe or are you toying with the idea?  I'd love to hear about it below!  Or if you have any questions, be sure to ask!

Lots of love + happy weekend!