The words growing and minimalist might seem like strange bedfellows, but hear me out: I like to think of a minimalist wardrobe as being akin to a garden. You’ve got to pull out the mess and the weeds that are strangling the showstoppers and fill it back in with bits that will form a beautiful base and make your garden shine. As far as I’m concerned, figuring out what to weed is the easy part. Figuring out what will flourish and make your garden beautiful and easy to maintain—that’s the hard part.
Over the next few weeks I’ll dole out the best advice I have on how to grow a minimalist wardrobe. I’m thinking of it as a mini-series; a step-by-step approach to figuring out what to put back into your closet once you’ve stripped it clean. Here goes:
Step One: Choose a Color Palette
The most successful gardens start with a color palette. Maybe it’s all silvery grasses and blues or rich burgundies and deep greens, but find a beautiful garden and you’ll also find a color palette. For me, the same goes for growing a minimalist wardrobe.
My palette is all blues and grays and whites with a few blacks and browns thrown in for good measure. Mostly these are colors that might be described as neutrals. For me, this has been the easiest way to have less, but this is not to say it’s the only route to take. Maybe your color palette is red and yellow and blue with a smattering of green. Do what you gotta do. Regardless of the specifics, if you’re hoping to pare down your wardrobe, the easiest way I’ve found to do this is to find a collection of colors that you love and to commit to that palette.
I’ve found tricky territory when I scoop up a multi-colored blouse on sale and come home to find that I don’t own a pair of pants to go with it. Not to mention a pair of shoes. And what if I get cold? Do I begin a hunt for the perfect canteloupe-colored cardigan to warm up with? I have friends who are geniuses at this. And if you love shopping, then this might be your route. But, it’s not been, in my experience, the way to having less.
Choosing clothes in a similar palette means that I can mix and match and know that one thing that I pull out of my drawer is bound to match the next thing. I like to think of my entire wardrobe in the way that I think of packing for a trip. Into my
suitcase closet go clothes that I know will get me the most possible mix-and-match traction.
This doesn’t mean that you might not have a few fabulous outliers. I happen to think I look fetching in a certain shade of hard-to-find red, and if I ever find the perfect sweater in that hue, I’ll be snatching it up. But the trick for me is to have a strong enough base to welcome the oddballs.
If you’re still in the purging stage, head HERE.