I'm no expert in this subject (yet) but I want to share some tricks I've discovered to keep my wardrobe lean. And if you missed my previous post about how having a minimalist wardrobe makes me kind of uncomfortable - read that post first. I'm not saying that it's EASY to lean out your wardrobe... it has actually been quite difficult for me. I struggle with not feeling stylish enough, and feeling like people are judging me for re-wearing items all the time. But I'm working on that :)
I guess a good place to start this post is WHY I want a minimalist wardrobe. Originally, I started minimizing stuff because we were moving, but I keep up with it now for two main reasons. First and foremost, because I like saving money. I'd prefer to invest $40 (which will help me retire 1 day sooner) rather than buying a new trendy shirt for $40. Second, I like keeping a minimalist wardrobe because I get overwhelmed easily. A messy closet stresses me out. Seeing clothes that I haven't worn in months makes me feel guilty. Getting ready for the day when I have 50 outfit options starts my day off by having to make WAY too many decisions. (decision fatigue is real) It's better for my net worth AND my mental health to keep my wardrobe small.
Okay, now that we've gotten that background out of the way, on to the good stuff.
Here are the three biggest tricks I've discovered to keep my wardrobe minimalist:
1. Pick a color scheme.
I've chosen black and grey as the base of my wardrobe and gotten rid of almost everything that isn't black or grey. No navy (except jeans), and no brown. (the brown part was easy, I've never liked brown) Just eliminating navy has freed me up from a TON of stress and useless spending. I used to buy navy work clothes ALL THE TIME and then never wore them because I didn't own anything else that matched (because a majority of my stuff was black, and I just can't pull off black + navy). So giving myself permission to donate/sell on ebay anything navy was a huge stress saver.
2. It's okay to re-wear stuff over and over
I wear the same pairs of pants ALL.THE.TIME. This has sort of been a habit throughout the years because I hate pants shopping - well, I dislike all types of shopping, but pant shopping is especially annoying - and therefore didn't buy many pairs. Now, I have 3 pairs of pants- black jeans, navy jeans, and lighter jeans. Okay, and if we're counting work wardrobe, I do have 2 pairs of work pants- black* and grey. (although I’m looking to get 1 additional pair) I gave myself permission to wear these pants ALL.THE.TIME and not feel bad about it. Who's paying attention to pants, anyway? If you wear a different top it's like a whole new outfit. Boom.
3. If you don't like it now, you're never going to like it.
As I write this, I can picture one item in particular in my closet right now that I don't really like, but I keep it because I feel like it has the potential to be something I could like. Maybe if I tuck it in I'd like it? Maybe if I wear it with the right pants? Or a cardigan?
WHY AM I DOING THAT? If I don't like it now, I am never going to like it. There has never been another situation in my life where I kept something and then SUDDENLY one day I realized that I loved the item. Nope. Has never happened. So why do I continue to hold on to stuff like that?
Those three tricks have seriously helped me SO much in curating my wardrobe.
Speaking of, I really love that term- "curating" a wardrobe. That's such a cool way to describe it. According to Google, "curate" means: select, organize, and look after the items in. So this doesn't necessarily mean buying new stuff -- curating my wardrobe involves me keeping the pieces that I like the most (and donating or selling the rest), organizing them (this is a work in progress... I'm kind of messy), and looking after the items (I'm still air drying most of my clothes, washing on gentle, etc).
I hope these tricks help you start to minimize your wardrobe! I'm excited to see how my wardrobe morphs over the next few months and years.