In the pursuit of a minimalist wardrobe

Once upon a time, when I was a young teenager, I had a music teacher who boasted about not wearing the same outfit twice in one year. Wow! That's so cool! She must have a lot of clothes, a big closet and a lot of money! I thought at that young age.

The seed was planted to someday get to a point where I could also (almost) be able to say the same. However, even then, 365 outfits seemed excessive... The fact that I pretty much struggled with my weight all my life somewhat saved me from owning that much clothes. The selection just wasn't there. Especially in the 80s and early 90s. You had to be very creative and have great clothes hunting skills to dress somewhat age-appropriate as an overweight teen back then. Things are a little easier now. But that's a whole other essay...

When you start researching minimalism online, you inevitably come across the subject of the capsule wardrobe. According to Wikipedia:
The term "capsule wardrobe" was coined by Susie Faux, owner of the West End boutique "Wardrobe", in the 1970s to refer to a collection of essential items of clothing that would not go out of fashion, and therefore could be worn for multiple seasons. The aim was to update this collection with seasonal pieces to provide something to wear for any occasion without buying many new items of clothing. Typically, Faux suggests that a woman's capsule wardrobe contain at least 2 pairs of trousers, a dress or a skirt, a jacket, a coat, a knit, two pairs of shoes and two bags".
The fascination with having a capsule wardrobe kind of started with recurring discussions I've had with my awesome friend Christy who started applying a day-of-the-week-outfit routine. Monday has an outfit. Tuesday has an outfit. Wednesday, Thursday, ... You get the picture. She started doing this years ago. A trend setter that Christy! ;)

I had tried this for a while and it was going very well. But unfortunately, I didn't keep it up... I can't really say why. Maybe it's because I didn't love the clothes that were part of the lineup... But the desire to get back to it has been growing.

If you look up this subject online, you'll find many many versions and ideas. I've read and been fascinated by stories like these ones about this woman and this man who wore one outfit for one year. I found Project 333, where you only have 33 items of clothing (including accessories, shoes and outerwear) for 3 months.

I also like the idea of the "Six Items Challenge" from Labour Behind the Label, where you select six items of clothing from your wardrobe and pledge to wear only these every day for six weeks (or any timescale you choose). This challenge is for charity. From their website:
Fast Fashion is the drive to increase profits and get products into our high street shops faster and faster, to satisfy an insatiable desire for new trends; the drive to sell more, consume more, make more, waste more. This, however, has disastrous consequences for the people who make our clothes.
The Six Items Challenge is designed to challenge our increasing reliance on fast fashion and raise vital funds which will enable Labour Behind the Label to keep fighting for the justice that garment workers deserve. 
With the move, and now that I consider myself a minimalist, I want to get this part figured out also. I miss that feeling of simplicity when I didn't question what to wear in the morning. I just grabbed what I was supposed to wear. The bonus: consuming less makes a difference in society and with our environment.

I've already made a huge dent in the clothing I own when I applied the KonMari method. But there's room for improvement. I don't know if I'll go as extreme as the one-outfit-for-a-year people. And it's not because I care what people would think about me wearing the same thing every day. I don't think people would really notice all that much or even care. It's just that I like wearing different types of clothes depending on the weather (because I live in Canada and our weather varies greatly in one year... sometimes even in one day...) and depending on my mood. But really, there are only a handful of clothes I own that I really enjoy wearing.

I think that maybe the capsule wardrobe might lead to excess since you can add pieces according to the season. I might come up with my own version, mixing ideas from these different inspirational sources.
 
I've mentioned that I want to make an inventory of all that I own. So, I'll be posting the results of this first real go at getting my minimalist wardrobe set up. I'm not sure if I'll get it done before or after the move, but it will definitely be figured out before the end of the year. I'm thinking that it will be sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, if you have a minimalist wardrobe, please inspire me and share! You can either post in the comments here, or you could send me a private message. And if it's by private message, let me know if you'd agree to me sharing your wardrobe with everyone on this little corner of the blogosphere so that you can inspire others as well.

Comments

  1. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Thanks... Joseph Nicholson

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