How to Have a Minimalist Wardrobe

Thursday, August 22, 2013 0 , , ,
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If there is one thing having a small apartment has taught me, it is that I hate (oh, and I mean hate) having more stuff than I need. I have to tell you that I sometimes don’t buy things I need because I would rather not suffer the anxiety of bringing it into our home. Our kitchen has one drawer. One drawer. Let that soak in.
 
Not that I am complaining! In fact, I often remark to myself how nice it is that I have so little space to clean. Usually right before that I am cursing the fact that we have nowhere to put anything, but still. 
 
Honestly, though, I prefer it this way. For now. We make it work well, I think.
Having said that, and having told you we have one solitary drawer in our kitchen, you can imagine how small our closet is. If I have something in there taking up space that I do not use, it kind of drives me crazy. 
 
These feelings of craziness over “stuff”, however, work well with the idea of the capsule wardrobe. I was intrigued by the concept the first time I heard of it (from this lovely lady, to be exact!). If you are unfamiliar, it is basically just the idea that you keep a limited amount of quality pieces in your closet. This means no Forever 21, H&M, etc. GASP. I know, the idea will take your breath away. No H&M was hard for me, too. In fact, so difficult that I have not quite given it up. But, I am limiting myself. I am looking for quality items of clothing that I know I will wear and love for years to come. I just really love the idea of not feeling like I have to go on a shopping spree every few months. I love that idea.
 
If you want to make this philosophical, you could also say that having a limited wardrobe protects you from consumerism, and that horrible feeling of discontentment with everything you own when you walk into a clothing store.
 
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So I decided to do a little experiment where I take out ten items from my closet, and see how many outfits I can make from them. My work wardrobe is naturally pretty small anyway, but I wanted to stretch myself, so I started there. Do you want to see the results of my experiment?
Side note, I took these pictures before I got bangs. I look totally different now.
 
So here are the rules for a ten-item wardrobe (also referred to as a minimalist wardrobe): Go to your closet and pick out ten items you love. I chose 5 tops, 2 bottoms (one skirt, one pair of cropped pants), 2 dresses, and 1 cardigan. The goal is to get as creative as you can with the ten items that you choose, and see how many outfits you can create without getting bored. 
 
What I like about this fashion experiment is: it is free, it helps get you out of any style ruts you may be in, and it makes you see your closet differently. Limitation inspires creativity. That’s what I always say.
 
Please take note: since this post is about outfits, I ask that you focus on those things alone. To be more specific, that means please overlook a) the hideous TV in the background of these photos, b) the fact that I wasn’t sure what to do with my face and came up with this neutral, “I can’t seeeee you” expression, and c) the quality of these photos. Sometimes you can’t get everything you want in life.
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And look what we did with our ten items! That’s 16 outfits, friends. I could potentially make ten items work for over two weeks at the office. I even made one pair of shoes work with every outfit. Just think what would happen if you added in another pair of shoes, or another skirt. The possibilities are seemingly endless! Or at least, more than you would think. Chances are we all have more than ten items in our wardrobe. How many outfits would that make?
 
Want more about my ten-item wardrobe? Read my article for xojane.com here.
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