Do you have clothes in your closet that still have the tags on them?
I used to.
Not only did I have clothes with tags still attached but I had way too many clothes, most of which I never wore (unless you count trying it on and then deciding not to wear it anyway). What a waste of money and time!
Once I adopted a simpler wardrobe I became much more free. I spend less time deciding what to wear each day!
I don’t go to an office every day so I can get away with owning fewer clothes than someone who does but I don’t believe that anyone has to shell out a ton of cash just to look professional. Anyone can simplify their wardrobe and still look and feel great!
Choose to own fewer pieces of clothing
A minimalist wardrobe is a great way to save money. If you’re like me you only wear a handful of them anyway so just get rid of the stuff that you don’t wear. Par your wardrobe down to a manageable amount (if you’re looking for a real challenge consider joining project 333). But remember, minimalism isn’t about deprivation, it’s about freedom from too much.
How can you begin to par down to find freedom from too many clothes?
Get rid of anything that doesn’t fit perfectly or that you haven’t worn in a year.
Once your wardrobe is only pieces that you really love and that fit well you will save yourself a lot of time and stress since everything in your closet will be one of your favorites!
If you really want to get serious about a minimalist wardrobe, get rid of duplicates. Refine your wardrobe so that each piece has it’s own function. For example, choose to have only one pair of bootcut jeans and one pair of skinny jeans.
Choose a look that works for you and go with it.
Whatever that means let your wardrobe be you. Be honest with yourself. Most of the things that I’ve bought and then didn’t wear either didn’t fit perfectly or were not really my style. I’ve had to learn the difference between liking something because it’s interesting or pretty and liking something because I could see myself wearing it (lets just say I’ve owned a lot of unworn shoes).
Learn basic sewing skills and repair your wearing clothes.
Of course, this isn’t a permanent fix (they will eventually be totally worn out) but you can buy yourself some time so you don’t have to make a desperation purchase. When I was pregnant I didn’t make the time to look for maternity clothes at thrift and consignment stores so I ended up buying brand new maternity clothes because I simply needed them.
If you have more than basic sewing skills you could try upcycling your old clothes, hand me downs or thrift store finds. Take a look here for some inspiration.
When it’s time to go shopping
Create a list of basic pieces that you need depending on your lifestyle (for me being a stay-at-home, nursing mom in January in New England that means jeans, tank tops that can be pulled down, long sleeved shirts and sweaters) keep a running list in your wallet of things that need to be replaced.
Visit thrift and consignment stores periodically to check for things on your list. Remember the rules though! Don’t buy it just because it’s cheap. Make sure it follows the rules or you’ll end up with something else that you don’t wear. Buying used is great for the environment too. Did you know it takes about 1/3 lb of pesticides to grow the cotton for one t-shirt? Thredup is awesome because you don’t even need to leave home to browse!
If you still don’t find what you need then hit the sales at your favorite stores or outlets. Be careful with outlet shopping though. The clothing at outlet and factory stores is often lower quality pieces made specifically for the outlet.
Invest in timeless basics and buy cheaper versions of trendy pieces. You aren’t saving any money if you have to replace something over and over. Invest in good quality basic items that are versatile (black dress pants). Spend less on clothing that will be out of style sooner.
Follow these rules:
Only buy things that 1. You need (check your list) 2. You LOVE! 3. Fit perfectly. And 4. Can be worn with at least 2 things you already own.
One last minimalist wardrobe tip:
Swap your clothes with friends! It’s a little difficult if your friends are all different sizes (pants are probably a no go) but sweaters and t-shirts can surprise you!