Dressing Simply With Minimalism


One of the bigger minimalist steps you’re going to take is your wardrobe. This can be an intimidating step since if you’re new to minimalism you may not know exactly how you’re supposed to be dressing.

The first step is to ask the right question. You’re not supposed to be dressed in any particular way. In fact, a minimalist wardrobe can be almost anything you’d like it to be. The focus isn’t so much on a particular style or color. If you gravitate towards bold, bright colors and patterns, then build your wardrobe around that. You can be minimalist without being boring! 

Not sure where to start? Here’s a few ideas for you. 

Downsize Your Closet

One rule of minimalist fashion which you do have to follow is decluttering your wardrobe. We’ve all been guilty of acquiring too much stuff over the years and your wardrobe is no different. Start emptying your drawers, dressers, and closets. 

Now, how many of these articles of clothing do you actually wear with any regularity? Yeah, probably not many. And that’s okay. It’s easy to fall into collecting clothing items over the years. But now we’re going to do something about it. 

Divide everything into at least two piles: yes and no. Everything in the “no” pile should be donated or discarded. Everything in the “yes” pile can go back into the closet. Everything in the “maybe” pile we know you decided to start can be kept… for now. 

Start Defining Your Outfits

While there’s no set number of outfits you must own with minimalism, the focus IS on simplicity and functionality. Start matching your shirts, pants, dresses, etc to form easily definable outfits that you can switch between as needed. 

Odds are good you already have a lot of the items you need. Start by putting together your outfits. Shoot for somewhere between 20-40 total items, including pants, shirts, shoes, etc. With that, you can start to construct around 4-5 separate outfits. Then, feel free to mix and match them to create alternative outfits.

Do I have To Buy A New Wardrobe?

Minimalism isn’t about throwing everything away and buying a whole new wardrobe. It’s also not about being Steve Jobs and only wearing jeans and black turtlenecks all day long. Sure, many minimalists like to dress in a “uniform” of sorts; a unique look indicative of your personality. Many people find comfort in defining their “uniform” and playing their outfits around that specific look. However, none of this is required, though it is a particular brand of minimalism that some practitioners embrace.

In short, you don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe. Some of that might defeat the purpose of going minimal. Remember, the point is to avoid clutter and excess, not add to it. However, if you wish to donate everything and start from scratch, that’s okay too. 

Define Your Style

Here’s the thing: adopting a minimalist wardrobe doesn’t mean “going bland” with your outfits. If your style and personality is drawn to bright colors or flashy patterns, guess what? That’s your style. Minimalism doesn’t mean toned down or boring. You can be as expressive as you’d like with patterns, colors, or styles. While it’s true that many minimalist practitioners will “tone it down” with their clothing, you don’t have to be cut from the same cloth.

Feel free to be expressive with your wardrobe. Just keep it manageable. 

Don’t Shy Away From Simple

At the same time, don’t be afraid to experiment with the “less is more” approach of toning down or “going minimal” on jewelry, accessories, or flair. Experiment with silhouettes, neutral or basic hues, and clothing that is functional over flashy. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Basic

One of the hallmarks of minimalist dressing is breaking away from the desire to jump on popular fashion trends and expensive brands. Instead, prioritize functionality and versatility. You’ll save time and money in the process while building out a wardrobe that is both stylish as well as practical. 

There is more than one way to dress like a minimalist. However you choose to define your own particular take on minimalist dressing, just make sure you are simplifying your style and decluttering your life as much as your wardrobe.

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