How to build a minimalist wardrobe

Some of this century’s most well-known fashion icons are recognised by what they choose to wear. In the majority of cases, they go for an incredibly minimalist look. Take the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Vera Wang and Michael Kors for example. This “less is more” fashion philosophy has caught on and has more people wondering how they can put their wardrobe on a strict diet.

So whether you want to establish a daily uniform or you just think it’s about time you were able to close your wardrobe doors, here’s our advice on how to simplify.

What’s in your wardrobe right now?

The first step toward achieving the minimalist dream is to take an inventory of what’s in your wardrobe right now and see how you can cut it in half. There are probably a lot of items that you never wear in which case now is the perfect time to get rid and instead focus on your wardrobe goals. Perhaps you want a wardrobe that will allow you to quickly transition from day to night, or maybe you’re looking to further define a specific style. Either way, making a list of what you do and don’t like in your wardrobe is the first step to help you get there.


We’ve all had the “but I might wear this again in the future” or “this will fit me again” thoughts when trying to throw away clothes, but if you want a minimalist wardrobe then you need to seriously reconsider. Get rid of any items that don’t fit, that are beyond repair or that simply don’t make you feel good. If you’re really unsure about some pieces, then place them in a box, put them away for some time and see if you change your mind. As a guide, most minimalist wardrobes only contain around 20 to 40 pieces.

Define your style

Oddly enough, having less in your wardrobe is one of the quickest ways to banish that dreaded “nothing to wear” feeling. However, this can only be done if you spend some time defining your style. Take inspiration from your favourite style icons, websites such as Pinterest and Ashleigh Plus Size and don’t forget to consider your lifestyle. Anything that doesn’t fall under your current style umbrella should no longer be in the running.

Build a capsule collection

A classic capsule collection tends to include two pairs of jeans, two pairs of trousers, three dresses, two skirts, two t-shirts, two blazers, three blouses, one button-down, three sweaters, two coats, four pairs of shoes and two bags. Of course, this can be further defined by where you live. Those living in hotter climates, for example, might want to substitute coats for swimsuits. The number one rule is to ensure that everything coordinates. This will make you get the most out of the few items that you’ve downsized to.

If you’re going for a minimalist wardrobe for the first time, we recommend trying it for three months. After this time you can consider what did and didn’t work well so that you can plan a different (or similar) capsule for next season. When shopping, do so thoughtfully and carefully so that you can make space for the pieces that will slowly begin to define your style.

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