How I am Building my Minimalist Wardrobe

36 items of clothing, 8 pairs of shoes, 3 bags

This year has not just been about minimising my wardrobe, it has also been about building my dream wardrobe. In the past I had a lot of clothing but felt I had nothing to wear. Now I have just 36 items of clothing, but I have a satisfying wardrobe in which almost every item gets regular use.

A tip to you. If you also want to build a healthy small wardrobe, please do not go out on a whim and buy all new things to replace your old things. The reality is that most of us have some shopping habits that don’t serve us well, and you might just end up back in the same place you are trying to get away from now. I really recommend that you take a break from shopping for a while and live with what you already have. I underwent a seven month shopping fast before I started to build my new wardrobe, and in that time I learnt to appreciate clothing I already had, became more flexible with it, broke some ridiculous shopping habits, and discovered what I actually needed to make my wardrobe ‘complete’. You might not want to go without shopping for as long as I did, but I believe that breathing time will make your new shopping decisions more rational and balanced.

I want to also explain the financial workings of my wardrobe over the last few years. I’ve mentioned before that as I started getting more income, I started spending more on clothing. On some level I must have been aware that I was spending too much, because I started to monitor exactly how much I was spending each year. This year, I was aware that I was going to get some things to make my wardrobe more functional, and I was happy to spend half the amount I did in 2015. One of my shopping rules now is that everything I buy is of good quality. That’s why I was happy to spend this amount on a relatively small number of things. Ideally these basic, classic pieces will not need to be updated often. Though there is nothing on my wish list for next year at this stage, I am aware that as the season changes again in six months or so, I may want to upgrade certain items. My shopping budget for 2017 is less than ⅔ of this year’s.

Recently I have gone through an ‘acquiring’ phase in an attempt to complete my wish list. In the future, I won’t be quite as aggressive about crossing things off the list. However, this being the first change of season since my overhaul, my summer work outfit situation was looking dire. While I have bought new things, you will see my clothing figure remains the same because I removed items that were not serving me well.

You’ll notice that each item is neutral in colour. All these items can be mixed, matched and layered, which is what makes my small wardrobe so functional.

What I’ve gained over the last few weeks:

Blue cotton button up shirt by Uniqlo

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Black cotton rich trousers by Uniqlo

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Cotton t-shirt by Gorman

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Linen t-shirt by Country Road

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Formal dress by Lacausa

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Formal shoes by Nine West

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Black loafers by Aldo

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Black flats by Mollini

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The shoes are pictured with my three handbags.

I wanted to add urls to these images, but some items were purchased in different timezones and others no longer seem to be available online.

In future posts I hope to go into the details of why I purchased each of these particular items, how I wear them, and what they replaced.


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