The Minimalist Wardrobe: An Experiment

(17 Posts)
thehugemanatee Sun 09-Oct-16 22:14:46

This winter I'm trying a minimalist wardrobe. I've picked out:

1 pair of cords (brown)
1 pair of jeans (black)
1 pair of trousers (black)
1 skirt suit (blue)
2 knee length skirts (one brown, one black)
1 black and green evening dress
2 pairs of tights/leggings (one black, one brown)
7 tank tops (one for each day, I always wear one under my clothes)
4 shirts (all patterned: brown, black, grey, and tan)
4 turtlenecks (all plain: brown, black, grey, and tan)
4 long sleeved tops (all patterned: black, grey, pink, and brown)
3 short sleeved tops (all patterned: black, brown, and pink)
2 cardigans (one brown, one black)
2 belts (one brown, one black)
2 scarves (one brown, one black)
1 long winter coat (black)
2 bras
14 pairs of knickers
14 pairs of socks
1 pair of knee high boots (black, flat)
2 pairs of flat shoes (one black, one brown)
One pair of high heels (black)

Everything else has been boxed up and stored away. My goal is to completely reduce my wardrobe permanently as it is taking over and takes up loads of time to organize, I never have any space, and I create loads of laundry.

Don't know if I'll be able to resist getting more stuff out, but going to try. Anyone with me?

whirlygirly Sun 09-Oct-16 22:21:03

That's a lot of brown and black smile

I would like to do this. I've switched to wearing heavy jersey dresses for work (have about 6 from the white company sales over the years)
I reckon I could manage with those plus 2 jackets and 3 cardigans during the week. Tights, shoes and scarves as required.

Weekends are a different matter. I just have way too many clothes. Problem is, I like them all. I like very neutral things in quality fabrics, which means I don't get sick of them and they don't wear out either. This has created a wardrobe overload situation confused

whirlygirly Sun 09-Oct-16 22:25:10

As an example of wardrobe excess, I must have 15 cashmere jumpers. At least. All plain, nice colours. I just can't bring myself to get rid of any. Some of them predate the dcs (eldest is at secondary) it's ridiculous.

Judydreamsofhorses Sun 09-Oct-16 22:46:05

I am in awe of people who manage this. From your list I would say you will be lacking in/constantly washing tights and bras.

thehugemanatee Sun 09-Oct-16 23:02:55

I only wear skirts a couple of times a week so I think I'll do OK on the tights. Probably right about the bras. I'm in need of new bras really so maybe I'll add two more bras to the mix.

There are colours in my shirts and tops that go with the brown/black so I will be wearing more than just brown and black, but I picked similar colours for everything to have more versatility in mixing and matching.

I considered just 7 outfits and wearing the same thing every week but I decided the experiment would fail as I'd get bored.

I already feel 'lighter' having put my other stuff away!

OhFuckOff Mon 10-Oct-16 06:40:21

Good luck I admire your plan, I ought to consider it my wardrobe is overloaded I never wear the same outfit in a month at least!

MsUnderstanding Mon 10-Oct-16 10:10:49

Is that minimalist then? Mine must be ultra minimalist in that case. just don't look in the coat cupboard Sticking to a limited colour pallet really helps make life easier.

HalfStar Mon 10-Oct-16 14:11:21

My wardrobe is a bit bigger than that but still quite pared down. It's made life a lot easier. I only have 3 bras and yes I am washing them often but it's plenty ( and I'm doing washing every day or two anyway as the other 3 in the house haven't got the minimalist memo yet hmm)

My colour palette is more varied but I would probably look a bit more together if it wasn't. I think the main way to think about clothes is to plan in outfits.

Blueisthemagicnumber Mon 10-Oct-16 16:02:11

Thinking about doing this and yes to the making so much washing.

I have created a winter work wardrobe, with two pairs of trousers, four tops - two burgundy, one charcoal grey, one bottle green, two cardigans - one grey, one burgundy.

It is the out of work wardrobe that I have a problem with, and coats.... love a coat.

Poocatcherchampion Mon 10-Oct-16 16:06:01

Ive basically done this I think I have less than you.

I wash once a week - it makes way less washing IMO not more. I stretch things out one more time to get to Monday wash day.

FrustratedFrugal Mon 10-Oct-16 16:51:04

Well done OP! I love the idea and would like to do the same at some point. I spent last week living out of a suitcase - two dresses, a jumpsuit, two pairs of leggings, two pairs of shorts, one pair of jeans, a handful of tops, some underwear, one sweater and three pairs of shoes. I had everything I needed and everything got worn.

MsUnderstanding Mon 10-Oct-16 16:57:08

OP, are all you clothes new or did you do a massive cull?

ChishandFips33 Mon 10-Oct-16 22:40:30

Worth making up outfits and photographing them to see how many you'll get out of your collection???

ClaudiaJean2016 Mon 17-Oct-16 17:58:27

When i cut down my wardrobe the thing that surprised me most was actually the number of outfits I could have made with what I had. I inventoried everything.

I had 46 pairs of trousers that were varying shades of brown, some grey, and some black. I had 16 pairs of jeans, mostly dark blue but some lighter denim and a black pair. I had 14 black skirts, 11 brown skirts, and 3 blue skirts. I had 179 shirts and 112 tops that could have been worn with any of the trousers, jeans, or skirts. 28 cardigans and 23 jumpers which could have been worn with any of the shirts and tops. I had 27 everyday dresses and 12 suit sets, 8 not-quite-suits-but-dressy top/trouser sets. 10 fancy dresses. Considering how much of my wardrobe went together, I calculated how many individual outfits I could make with it (i.e. different shirts/tops with different trousers/jeans/skirts, with different cardigans or jumpers, and then the dresses and suits), and the number came out at around 30,000 outfits. That's enough clothes to wear a different outfit every day for 80 YEARS.

I now have 45 items of clothing total (not including underwear, scarves, belts, shoes) and can make almost 800 individual outfits from it. Even with that tiny amount of clothes I could wear a different outfit every day for over 2 years. It really changed how I see my need for clothes and made me realise how much I really DON'T need a big wardrobe at all.

Fuzzypeggy Mon 17-Oct-16 18:05:46

Oh my goodness Claudia. That's really something. I fear I may be like you before your cull. Scary numbers there.

girlwithamoonandstaronherhead Mon 17-Oct-16 18:18:49

I did this to my wardrobe after reading Marie Kondo. It is so much easier. My work clothes especially are very much a capsule, just grey, black mauve and a little green, so everything goes with everything. Although it sounds boring those colours suit me and I always feel smart. Then a few jeans and jumpers fir the weekend and the usual lesser used going out clothes.
Good luck op!

NotAMammy Mon 17-Oct-16 18:40:47

I did a massive cull earlier this year and ended up with a capsule wardrobe by basically throwing out anything that was worn out, didn't fit or I just didn't like. I then wrote down what I want to add to it and have been building those up slowly, focusing on buying things that fit well and I love (hence the struggle to find work trousers that fit well)
You look like you have a good selection, although I'd pick up a nude bra to avoid having to wear a slightly damp one!

Weekend wear I did a serious cull on my t-shirt collection and bought a few lovely ones from mango, a pair of black, blue and grey jeans and I'll wear the jumpers and cardigans I have for work (although I need to get a couple more of these)

Going-out is where I seriously struggle though, I don't go out loads, so it feels wasteful having special clothes for it.

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