The Minimalist Closet: An Intro
Hello there 🙂
This is my closet. You’ve seen this pic a few times, especially after I decided to keep only my natural fibre or sustainable clothing options.
I’ve decided to start a new experiment series regarding the minimalist wardrobe.
I browse the internet… A LOT. I’ve noticed that minimalism and the capsule wardrobe have garnered a ton of attention as the new trend. I hate to admit it, but I have to laugh when reading about the ‘French Wardrobe’ or the 33 items for 3 months – trend. You see, in my mind, it seems to be more a case of people wanting what they don’t have (i.e.; time, space, clean lines, easy decisions) than a case of really taking stock of what they have and using it to its full potential. This isn’t always the case, but it seems to be more so than not. People who have, want less. People who have not, want more. Welcome to the vicious cycle called Trends in Consumerism.
I live in Europe. It’s true that the storage space is minimal here, and also that the clothes cost a small fortune. (Especially when you have mentally/physically or age-wise outgrown H&M and all the other fast fashion warehouses.) It’s also true that basics need to be of good quality, since you will get the most wear out of them & that trendy items should be kept to a minimum. (The rules to the French Capsule Wardrobe state that you can buy unlimited basic, but purchase only 5 trendy items per fashion season: Spring/Summer & Autumn/Winter) This seems normal. I’m not sure who is able to buy an entire wardrobe of items every few months. (Basics or not) I go months without buying anything sometimes, but I guess that’s because I have more pressing financial priorities. I have a difficult time with refraining from purchases sometimes because I go ga-ga over items that are different. If the sleeves are different on an otherwise normal cashmere sweater or silk blouse, it will be mine. Fortunately for me, this is a rare occurrence when it means the item in question must also be 100% natural fabric. Unfortunately, there are 2 such items at the moment which are waiting patiently for my purchase. Hmmmm….
I see people going all Mari Kondo crazed. No, I have not read the book. Yes, I do know how to fold. How could I not, after spending the years of my youth working in retail? (Whew! Sure am glad to be done with that job…) I’m sure that Kondo is a wiz at what she does. But, I mean really, do you only have things in your home that ‘spark joy’? My cleaning supplies do not overjoy me when I hold them. It’s more of an ‘Uggghhhh…do I have to?’ My empty nondescript flower pots in storage don’t make me smile. But they are a necessary part of my life when spring comes for sprouting. The piles of bills, tax forms and papers on my desk don’t make me happy, but I would be S.O.L. without them. I think its the same with your wardrobe. Of course, we NEED to have things that make us happy, feel sexy, feel great! But wouldn’t we be missing something if that’s all we had? I mean, don’t get me wrong. If I could wear what I felt best in all day, every day – I totally would! But if I’m going to drop 100€+ on a pair of trousers, you better believe I won’t be wearing them to clean the house, run the dog, or netflix & chill with my guy. I’m going to wear the shittiest uniform I own to clean, sweats to run, and something pretty – yet at least mildly comfortable to hang in with babes. However, I do get the basic premise of Kondo’s method, and I agree. She is correct in that if you love the items you own (clothes, for our purposes) then you will be happy in your space. You will take care of your special items, and you will get the maximum amount of wear out of an item that makes you happy when you slip into it. Absolutely! I always say that I would rather have 5 items of clothing that make me feel Ah-Mazing instead of 20 that are ‘Meh’. The fact remains though, that most of us aren’t models. We have active and demanding daily lives and we need clothes that can cater to that aspect of us. So the question (1 of many) is: How do we make this work with a ‘minimalist wardrobe’.
I like this post by Susie Faux, who’s been an advocate of the Capsule Wardrobe for the past 30 years. She outlines the practical reasons why a Capsule Wardrobe is recommended and does not lay out rules.
I have to use the term ‘Minimalist’ or ‘French Capsule’ wardrobe loosely here. For our purposes, there are no rules except for one. I’m not going to count my sweaters and then deny myself a few faves because somewhere someone said I should only have 2. Not gonna happen. Although, speaking the truth, it seems that the internet is telling me that my wardrobe – the one I have now, IS a minimalist wardrobe. How did this happen?
The only rule I am giving myself for the next 12 months is that whatever I buy needs to be:
– 100% natural fabric (I’ve already done this for more than the past year & I love it)
– Of good quality
– Something that fits the size I actually am
– Well researched & thoughtfully considered (So…no impulse buys)
– An investment. Ie; Something that I can see myself using for the next 5 years.
So, to get to the point, I’m taking on this challenge for the next 12 months. I will be posting regularly about my wardrobe, my progress, my insanity and my purchases. I do hope you will follow the journey with me.
Have any of you tried any of the minimalist wardrobe challenges? If so, please tell us about it in the comment section below!