Minimalist Fashion Guide: Small Wardrobe, More Joy?

Giada Nizzoli

Minimalist Fashion Guide: Small Wardrobe, More Joy?

We only use 10% of our wardrobe but think we have nothing to wear. If that doesn’t sit right with you, a simpler and slower approach to fashion might be a better solution.

Follow our minimalist fashion guide to find out for sure.

(And don’t worry: you won’t be left with five or six earth-toned pieces.)

What is minimalist fashion?

Minimalist fashion is about being happier with a smaller selection of timeless clothes that match your own preferences and style.

It’s the opposite of buying new fast fashion clothes regularly to chase ephemeral trends.

Let’s clear something up: this can coincide with a minimalist clothing style (= simple garments that prioritise functionality and versatility, like basics and monochrome or neutral items).

However, it doesn’t necessarily have to! Minimalist fashion is about what you can see yourself wearing multiple times for years without getting tired of it.

A minimalist fashion outfit

The benefits of minimalist fashion

  • Finding an authentic style that makes you happy instead of wearing what’s currently trendy. Like Marie Kondo always says, “does it spark joy?”
  • Ditching the I-have-nothing-to-wear mindset
  • Saving money in the long run
  • Making a MASSIVE difference for the planet: a minimalist fashion wardrobe is more sustainable as you’ll be reducing waste! Plus, because you’ll save money by buying fewer clothes, you’ll probably be able to invest in higher-quality pieces produced ethically and made to last

How many items should be in a minimalist wardrobe?

37 tends to be a popular starting point for a minimalist wardrobe capsule (although some people like to have even less), but we don’t think you must stick to a strict number of items.

After all, you’re doing this to create a selection that makes you happy!

How do I start a minimalist wardrobe?

Here comes the exciting part of our minimalist fashion guide!

Minimalist dress

1. Identify your own style

This is THE most important step. Minimalist fashion is about swapping trends for your own style. Ironically, many consumers make the mistake of treating it as a trend in itself!

  • Think long term, and stay true to yourself
  • If you already have a soft spot for neutral colours and earth tones, that’s an easy way of building a minimalist fashion wardrobe
  • Do you prefer bright colours and loud patterns? Then don’t force yourself to like minimalist style clothing! Otherwise, you’ll end up switching back to your old wardrobe and habits after a few months

2. Declutter your current wardrobe (sustainably!)

Take all your clothes out—yes, really—and consider:

  • Does a garment match your most authentic style? If not, you’ll probably find excuses not to wear it. Put it aside

And with whatever’s left:

  • Does it still fit me (try it on!), and is it comfortable to wear?
  • Does it go with multiple items, or is it difficult to find a pairing for it?
  • Can I see myself wearing it regularly?

And please, don’t bin the clothes that don’t make it past this selection! You’d only add to the 92 million tonnes of yearly waste generated by fast fashion. 

Instead, donate them to charity, sell them online, or ask your friends if they need them.

3. Maintain your minimalist fashion wardrobe

Example of a minimalist fashion clothing style

  • Stop making impulse purchases, especially if they don’t match your own style. Consider waiting 30 days and asking yourself these questions before a purchase (psst: bookmark it for later!)
  • Remove distractions by unfollowing fast fashion brands and influencers promoting overconsumption
  • Look for higher-quality and sustainable pieces made to last. On Project Cece, we’ve brought together hundreds of ethical brands. Use our practical filters to find clothes that match both your style and ethos

Was our minimalist fashion guide helpful? Start receiving our tips and inspiration to make even more sustainable clothing choices!

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