I have been living the minimalist lifestyle for about a decade now but the last challenge, the one that stumped me for the longest time, was having a minimalist wardrobe.
I knew I wanted a simple wardrobe with only clothes I needed and loved to wear in it but I really love clothes. I even sew my own clothes!
The biggest hurdle in creating a minimalist wardrobe however, was feeling like I had to follow rules that just didn’t jive with my tastes or needs. All the minimalist wardrobe rules out there left me feeling alienated.
Honestly I gave up for awhile. That is until I learned how to bend and break the classic minimalist wardrobe rules. Once I did that I finally achieved closet simplicity and a minimalist wardrobe I absolutely love!
Here are 7 minimalist wardrobe rules you can bend and break so you can have a minimalist wardrobe that works for you!
1: Everything Has to Be Versatile
The first minimalist wardrobe rule that didn’t work for me was the idea that everything has to be ultra versatile. That’s a big ask.
I could never figure out how to have clothes that worked for cleaning houses, teaching, and worship. It just wasn’t ever going to happen. Not to mention the weather! I live in a place with four seasons.
So how do we apply this rule and then bend it to fit the real needs of our daily lives?
It’s simple. Your clothing is versatile when it works for at least a couple different circumstances in your life and matches at least 3 other items you own. Follow those rules for versatile clothing that suits your life and needs.
2: Wear Only Neutral Colors
Another minimalist wardrobe rule that left me feeling super isolated was the idea that minimalists only wear neutral colors.
I love color! I never ever intended to belong to the white t-shirt club cause of my coffee addiction. Wearing beige and tan and khaki is totally all the same thing.
Nope. Wearing only neutral colors wasn’t an option. Did that mean I could not have a minimalist wardrobe? If you love color how can you have a minimalist wardrobe?
Break that rule! You can have a simple wardrobe with color! Colorful clothes do not take up more room in a closet than neutral clothes.
Simply pick 2-3 of your favorite colors to wear for the time of year and focus on mixing and matching them in different combinations with basics like jeans and other more neutral staples.
3: Stick to A Specific Number
Now if we don’t have to worry about having specific colors or magic uniforms for all occasions surely we have to worry about the number of clothes we have.
Yes. That’s true. Obviously you can’t have a minimalist wardrobe if you have a ton of clothes.
But do you have to stick to a very specific number of clothes?
I tried Project 333 and I thoroughly enjoyed it! It is totally worth it to live with only 33 items of clothing for 3 months and I learned a lot about my personal style, the role clothes play in my life, and how little I truly need.
That being said I do not stick to a specific number of clothing in my closet and you don’t have to either.
Simply focus on what you actually wear and let go of the rest.
4: Wear Simple Accessories
What about your accessories? Don’t your necklaces and earrings need to comprise of gold bars or barely there circles?
Bear in mind that a lot of the minimalist wardrobe rules come from the minimalist aesthetic or style. Do you want to follow the minimalist style or do you just want to keep things simple?
If you want to ascribe to the minimalist aesthetic you absolutely should follow the rules of neutral clothing and ultra-streamlined jewelry.
But if you are just looking to keep things simple you can bend and break those rules! I personally love to make and wear funky boho jewelry. You can too! Just remember not to have more than you really wear.
5: Buy Only High Quality
I am a girl on a budget and when I first started searching “capsule wardrobe” and “minimalist wardrobe” in Pinterest all I would find was stuff that was way out of my price range.
A minimalist wardrobe rule that is often repeated is that you should buy less but better. In other words you should be buying $40 t-shirts.
Is that really necessary though?
Not at all!
Buy less clothing but where you buy it and how much you spend on it is up to you. I personally like to level up my wardrobe by buying nicer brands second hand.
6: Be an Outfit Repeater
If you are going to be a minimalist with an ultra-versatile tan wardrobe you are going to need to be an outfit repeater.
Okay, that’s probably true. And there is something to be said for not having to think too much about what you will wear each day.
But if you want to have a colorful capsule wardrobe you don’t necessarily have to wear the same outfit every day to keep it simple. You just have to be a little more creative in how you mix and match your outfits.
Instead of being an outfit repeater try being an outfit mixologist!
7: Keep All Of Your Clothes Out
And last but not least some minimalists will say that all your clothes should be out and available at the same time.
While it is true that you shouldn’t have more clothes than fit in your closet it is not necessarily beneficial to have sweaters out in summer or flip flops out in winter.
Instead you can switch out your closet with the seasons. This will help you keep your closet fresh and well curated.
Will You Try a Minimalist Wardrobe?
Now that you know the rules and you now how to bend and break them do you feel like a minimalist wardrobe is something that is within your reach?
I hope so!
I know that when you find closet simplicity and a minimalist wardrobe you love, you will be so happy you gave it a try, even if you had to break a few rules along the way.
About the Author: Jessalynn Jones writes her blog Doable Simplicity to help you make minimalism a part of your life that helps you achieve your goals. Her helpful tips are all about making life easier so you can enjoy it more!