How to Build a Minimalist Wardrobe

Imagine, opening your wardrobe in the morning and having a clear vision of what you’re going to wear… Every day!

If that sounds like a distant dream, it’s time to go back to basics – a minimalist wardrobe just might be what you’ve been looking for.

And basic doesn’t mean you’re going to end up looking like everyone else! No, minimalism encourages you to embrace your own style rather than blindly follow the latest fast fashion trends. All you have to do is apply the number one rule – keep it simple.

Minimalism will help you to unclutter your wardrobe and live a more environmentally conscious life. So in the end, your wardrobe might even help to save the planet!

What does a Minimalist Wardrobe mean?

Minimalist fashion is more than throwing away all your old and ‘boring’ clothes and hoping for a miracle. Your approach to style and everyday fashion choices have to change first.

A minimalist wardrobe is far from boring. The key focus is on pieces that will last long but be versatile enough for mixing and matching with most of your wardrobe. But that doesn’t mean your style has to lack personality! You just have to be more conscious of the way you buy and organize your clothes.

Are you ready to shift your focus from quantity to quality? When building a minimalist wardrobe, the goal is to get you out of that vicious ‘I’ve got nothing to wear’ cycle.

In the end, you will love every single item in your closet.

Why Should You Switch to a Minimalist Wardrobe?

Are you still not convinced that a minimalist wardrobe will change your life?

There is a range of benefits to a minimalist wardrobe, some obvious, some not.

Here are some of our favorites:

1. Save time

Saying goodbye to those unexciting PJs and worn-out shoes will help you to unclutter your closet. In the morning, you will be able to grab and go instead of frantically looking for your favorite jacket. The number of times I was late because I couldn‘t find those particular socks or that skirt is too embarrassing to admit so having fewer clothes will definitely save your time.

You can make more money but you can‘t get back the lost time, which you can spend looking fabulous instead of stressing out.

2. Spend your money on clothes you love

Yes, in the beginning, building a minimalist wardrobe will end up costing you more. But! Think about it as a long-term investment in yourself. Replacing your old clothes with staple high-quality pieces that will serve you much longer will save you money in the long run. Cars and houses are not the only things you should invest in because looking and feeling your best every day will do wonders for your self-confidence.

3. Feel confident in your outfit choices

Minimalism will help you to truly embrace your style. Opening your closet and realizing you love everything there is an empowering feeling that you should start every morning with.

Knowing you leave your house looking effortlessly chic every day will add an extra spring to your step and you will radiate confidence. As Rachel Zoe said: “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak”.

4. Shop more sustainably

Consumerism in fashion is a growing issue as influencer culture is encouraging us to buy more because it‘s cheap and shiny.

A minimalist wardrobe can turn your closet into a sustainable fashion sanctuary.

Do you want to keep more waste away from landfills? Fast fashion is not great for the environment and encourages mindless purchasing instead of long-term style investment. Sustainable fashion requires fewer resources and consumes less energy, so it’s a good starting point when transitioning to a greener lifestyle.

Steps to Building a Minimalist Wardrobe

If you kept reading until now, then you know what time it is! Get ready for your wardrobe revision.

1. Clothing Audit: Get rid of everything you haven’t worn in 6+ months

Who said you couldn’t build your new style with the clothes that you already have? The key is to find them in the sea of all the clutter in your wardrobe.

Choose three piles:

  • Keep
  • Maybe
  • Get Rid Of

Now, the last two are very important. Be ruthless. Everything that you haven’t worn in the last 6+ months – get rid of it. That costume you wore on Halloween three years ago? Get rid of that. Your ex’s sweater? Bye. That skirt that doesn’t fit you quite right, but you never bothered to return? GET RID OF IT.

Maybe pile is also a Get Rid Of pile for the clothes that you feel the hardest saying goodbye to. If you don’t get excited about wearing it, put it in the Get Rid Of pile no matter how expensive it was. You will thank yourself later.

There’s no need to send your clothes to landfill either. If your clothes are in good condition you can sell them on online thrift stores, donate them to charity shops, upcycle them, or hand them down to someone else who’ll use them.

2. Get Creative in Decluttering your Closet

Find sustainable ways of getting rid of your clothes, such as:

  • Donating to charities
  • Giving away to friends or family
  • Selling online
  • Swapping with your friends. You could even organize a community swapping party!
  • Upcycling, which involves creating a new piece out of your old clothes. You will have to get crafty, but there’s always a way to bring that old dress back to life!

3. Choose the New You

Once your wardrobe is clutter-free, have a look, and see what’s left. You might discover something new about your personal style. Maybe you feel the most confidence in sporty outfits. Or maybe it’s the smart casual style that gets your groove on.

Before rushing to the shops to fill your wardrobe, make a conscious decision of what your go-to style is going to look like. Think of your favorite colors, fabrics, and outfit combos. Identify the missing pieces and invest in those.

4. Start Investing in Your Style

Instead of buying clothes you don’t need, or you’re not sure will fit with the rest of your wardrobe, investing in key quality pieces will guarantee you always have something to wear.

The key rule to remember is that all clothes need to match and be universal rather than follow the latest trends. As Lauren Hutton said: “Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose“.

Choose subtle patterns and solid colors such as black, white, and grey. Pastel colors will be a perfect match with both bright and darker tones. These colors will always be trendy and guarantee that your clothes remain in your wardrobe for many seasons.

Before buying anything new, always ask yourself if you can create at least a few outfits matching it with what you already have in your closet. If you can’t, put it back.

Choose quality fabrics and spend more money as high-quality clothes will end up costing you less than buying a new low-quality item every few months.

Have you ever bought something, tried it at home, and felt meh? Don’t let it sit in your minimalist wardrobe and return it.

You might think you have to build an only 10-item wardrobe, but you can have as many pieces as you like in your shiny new wardrobe. The key is only to keep the clothes that won’t collect dust in your closet and will bring you joy each time you wear it.

Minimalist Wardrobe Examples

Minimalist Wardrobe for Women

  • A jacket and a coat – one for winter and a lighter jacket for autumn and spring. Choose classic monochrome colors so you can match it with brighter trousers and accessories.
  • Sweaters and cardigans – they are quite universal, so decide whatever style matches your personality best.
  • Classic shirts and blouses – shirts are one of the most crucial items in your wardrobe. They would suit for both office and everyday wear.
  • Trousers and skirts – jeans or cigarette trousers? Focus on the type of trousers that float your boat. Why invest in trousers if you prefer skirts and dresses? Again, planning is key when choosing your new style.
  • Dresses – they allow for so much more flexibility than trousers or skirts. If you have a meeting during the day and a cinema date in the evening, change your heels for stylish trainers, and you’re good to go!
  • Shoes – every minimalist wardrobe should have flats, trainers and heels. Depending on your style, focus on the type of shoes you feel the most you wearing and invest in those.
  • Bags – invest in a day handbag and a clutch for the night time, and you’re set.

Minimalist Wardrobe for Men

Men can essentially follow the same principles as women when building a minimalist wardrobe. A few key pieces every man’s wardrobe should include are:

  • Jeans and casual trousers
  • A blazer jacket to match with shirts and T-shirts
  • Sweaters – at least two
  • T-shirts
  • Casual shirts – choose brighter colors or patterns depending on your style
  • A winter coat and a smart casual jacket to match it with both classy and more casual looks
  • Shoes – invest in quality leather or sustainable sneakers depending on your preference

Wrapping Up

Building a minimalist wardrobe will make your life easier. You’ll spend less time debating what to wear, and you’re guaranteed to only have a selection of clothes that you know you love.

In the long run, a minimalist wardrobe a more sustainable choice as you’ll be buying less and you’ll be wearing your clothes more.

If you’re ready to take the plunge and build your minimalist wardrobe, we highly recommend it.

There’s no time like the present.


  1. Nice article!

    Appreciate the tips. I have been trying to tidy up my closet and trying to live a minimalist lifestyle. I will start auditing my clothes now.

    Stay safe and cool!


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