How to create a minimalist wardrobe

How many times have you opened your overflowing wardrobe only to decide that you have ‘nothing to wear’? Of course, you don’t really have nothing to wear - your wardrobe is full to bursting with clothes that you’ve owned for years. Instead, what you mean is there isn’t anything that you want to wear.

What you might be looking for is a minimalist wardrobe. Imagine being able to get dressed in the morning without having to think about what goes with what. Think about a world where you can spend less time worrying about putting an outfit together.

Minimalism teaches you to invest in things that you love, rather than buying things because they’re in the sale or because they’re a bargain. You can buy something that will become a staple and that will match every other item in your wardrobe. It could make your closet a neater and tidier place and you’ll feel good no matter what you put on. There are so many benefits of having a minimalist wardrobe.

Below, we’ve outlined what a minimalist wardrobe looks like and how you can create one yourself.

What does a minimalist wardrobe look like?

Whereas a capsule wardrobe is much more limited to how many pieces of clothing you can have, a minimalist wardrobe is about matching colours and patterns so that every item can be worn with every other item. This means that a minimalist wardrobe will mostly be similar in colour rather than limiting yourself to a set number of items.

Therefore, a minimalist wardrobe might be one that has a certain colour palette or uses many of the same materials or patterns to ensure that everything will go together, a little like the image below.

a large built in wardrobe with pastel-coloured women’s clothes on one side and grey and brown men’s clothes on the other

How to put together a minimalist wardrobe

Below, we’ve outlined exactly how you can begin to create a minimalist wardrobe of your own.

Sort out your current wardrobe

Before you can begin buying more clothes, you need to sort out the ones that you already have. Throw out any clothes that:

  • You haven’t worn in two years
  • Are damaged or are looking very tired
  • Don’t fit

Your wardrobe will likely begin to look much clearer and it’s easier to see what you already have and what items you may be missing.

If your clothes have some use left in them, they could be donated to charity to prevent them from going to landfill. If they’re damaged, then you could put them in the general bin, or you may be able to find someone who can reuse the material to turn it into something completely different, like a new cushion.

Minimalism is all about having good quality clothes in a lower quantity, instead of having bundles of very cheap clothes. This is why it’s best to throw out any clothes that are very worn and buy good quality replacements instead.

Invest in some classic items

Once you’ve got rid of some items, you need to have a think about what your wardrobe is missing. Maybe you’ve got multiple blouses but none that are white. Perhaps you need a pair of black boots that can be worn with almost any outfit. These staples are exactly what your minimalist wardrobe needs, so it’s worth investing in them.

It’s also a good idea to have a think about any classic items. Every woman’s wardrobe should contain a mixture of blouses, skirts, trousers and shoes in varying colours. For men, a variety of shirts, trousers, ties and shoes is a good idea. Remember to think about varying seasons too. Jumpers and a winter coat are a must. If you’re missing any of these staple items, it may be worth investing.

Choose a colour palette

The main perk of a minimalist wardrobe is the ability to mix and match any pieces of clothing and know that they will go together. This means that you should pick a colour scheme and stick to it. You may choose to go with a pastel colour scheme that will encapsulate lots of dusky pinks and soft greens. You may prefer a more monochrome colour palette and prefer to wear lots of grey and black. Whichever colours you love the most and wear on a frequent basis, make sure you incorporate these into your scheme.

Mix and match

Now that you’ve got plenty of classic items in your wardrobe that are all of the same colour palette, you’ll be able to mix and match nearly every item to create a new outfit. With three pairs of trousers, two pairs of shoes and five blouses, you could make 30 different looks.