It has taken me months to get to a point where I can see what my minimal wardrobe would look like. Through that time, I thought colour, function, style, and silhouette.
Function was the easiest. I thought about the activities in my life and the portion of time they take. Where I live, what I do during the week, and how I spend most of my weekends. It wasn't hard to figure that, at the moment, most of my time is spent in the office and that I'm mostly a city dweller.
I wanted my minimal wardrobe to reflect this current life, so I focused on items that have a definite urban feel to them.
As a side note, the type of city life that I'm used to and truly enjoy is one where I can walk to places and hardly ever need to get in a car - hence the predominance of flats. I'm an European, after all.
Style was also not the biggest part of the challenge for me. I've been fairly consistent over the years in my tendency to go for classics with modern twists, comfort, and simplicity. I like how I can be wearing the most comfortable trousers/shoes/blouse/blazer, but still feel perfectly adequate in formal meetings.
If you're just starting to define your style, this article may be particularly helpful as a starting point.
Silhouette was a bit of a challenge as I wanted to capture the essence of my go-to outfits. I considered their proportions, the fit, and whether I had any kind of uniform. It appears that I do. In fact, it appears I have two types of uniforms: one for cool weather - involving skirts/dresses - and one for warm weather - involving trousers.
Finally, I thought a lot about colour. In fact, I found colour to be the biggest challenge. I didn't want my imagined minimal wardrobe to be just about fewer items. I also wanted it to be realistically remixable. In the end, I wanted to see how many different outfits I could make with the smallest number of pieces.
The main issue I had with the minimal wardrobes I'd seen on Pinterest and elsewhere was their blandness. All black, white or grey isn't really my thing. I need navy blue, yellow, red, green...So for months I was stuck on the misconceived notion that I couldn't have a minimal wardrobe with those.
Then I read this article and realised that a minimal colour palette doesn't have to be limited to just black, white or grey. The key thing is to stick to two or three main colours, throw in a couple of neutrals for balance and add a couple of accent colours for variety.
Once I finished this exercise and could finally see what my minimal wardrobe would look like, the big question was - How does my real wardrobe measure up to this?
A story for my next post...
Additional resources on creating a Minimal Wardrobe:
- Into Mind: a personal style blog all around minimalism - scroll through the 'Getting Started' section for all sort of helpful articles. This one of how to get started was an eye-opener.
- Cuyana - The Lean Closet Movement: the articles that first made me thought about the concept of minimalism in relation to clothes.
- Style Bee: I have found Lee's Closet Mission 2015 an inspiration (she has further resources on the topic too).