Before I went through my closet and got rid of the majority of my clothes, mornings were exasperating. I had the same struggle countless women in many countries have. What should I wear? It was a near constant battle for me. Blouses, sweaters, and trousers spilled out of my closet. Regardless of this, I had nothing to wear. This is an all-too-common problem. Do women end up choosing items from amidst their own wardrobe? Do they borrow a top from a friend? Or do they head to the nearest store and flip through the racks of clothes, desperate for an upgrade?
Assess Your Current Wardrobe and Make a Plan
The beauty of capsule wardrobes is that you aren’t sifting through dozens of tops and bottoms in a frenzy. The perfect outfit sometimes only exists in our minds. And that’s why minimalism is so perfect. Paring down your closet to only consist of good quality clothes is your answer. It’s helpful to just take everything out and get rid of everything that isn’t practical, worn often, or in fashion. It wasn’t easy at first, I won’t lie. But with each day I could feel the stress of heavy closets melting away. I was able to put together multiple outfits from minimal pieces of clothing.
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When you are embracing minimalism, it’s easy to see precisely what you are lacking or needing. With summertime coming, I quickly discovered that I was badly in need of shorts. It was clearly missing from amidst my capsule wardrobe. But once I discovered this, I didn’t look at it as an excuse to go on a light shopping spree. I had a specific plan in mind. Taking advantage of a luxury consignment shop, I found the piece I could immediately pair with many other articles of clothing that I own. I bought a pair of shorts that look brand-new which I snatched up for a fraction of the original price.
Make Some Assessments About Your Current Situation
Depending on where you are in the world, a certain season (or weather pattern) is currently happening. This will strongly influence how you choose to organize your wardrobe. For instance, if it is heading into autumn, you will want a warm scarf and some cozy boots. If it’s heading into spring, you’ll require thinner clothing and perhaps a comfy pair of leggings. Make sure these items are in your capsule wardrobe. Then again, if you live somewhere that hardly ever has a proper winter, you may not actually need three winter coats. If you live in a cooler climate, check to see if you have enough long sleeves in your wardrobe.
Take some time to consider your lifestyle. How often do you go out? How much are you required to be in the office? What is your job like? Do you go out to classy restaurants much? Do you like to hit the gym a few times a week? All of these questions will weigh heavily into your clothing decisions. Because if you must have a presentable look while you’re in the office, you need suitable clothes. If you are on site at the office three days a week, that will reflect on your outfits. You should have two or three outfits in mind, based on the items you have. How often you decide to go out, eat out, and socialize will also play a part in your closet. You want good quality clothes to be versatile for all of these occasions. And gym clothes? Yoga pants have got to be part of the deal! Consider your lifestyle, budget, and interests. Be realistic. Don’t hold onto those sparkly red stilettos just because you’re convinced someday they’ll be perfect for an event. That’s a fantasy. Besides, they get painful to wear after three hours
Avoid Following Trends
Oftentimes, our favorite items don’t always align with how we choose to present ourselves. Fashion is a fickle thing. The entire concept is to entice us to spend money on things that will quickly fall off the grid. One season it’s all about grungy Snapbacks, then suddenly everyone is fawning over pastel dad hats. It’s constantly changing. But you don’t have to be a part of it.
When you do decide to go out and shop for something, take time to consider. Think about whether the item you find is what will help complete your wardrobe. Always be on the lookout for good quality clothes. Ask yourself whether you love what you’ve found. What helps me is to actually leave the store and go on a short walk. If after thirty minutes, the piece I saw is still on my mind, then I love it. It’s been working perfectly for me! The pieces I’ve gone back into the store and purchased have been worn many times. They’ve easily become my go-to pieces. However, it’s crucial to try it on. Not just at the store but also at home. Try your new piece on with several outfits. Return the item to the local or online store if it doesn’t sit right. No use keeping an item you’re not 100% all about.
There’s More Than One Way To Wear It
If you’ve got good quality clothes with high versatility, then multiple outfits are born! Some stylists suggest that you can integrate one piece into at least two or three outfits. Whether it’s a pair of beige chinos, a nice denim jacket, or a pair of black booties. One piece, three outfits. It’s easily doable. Think how many outfits you can create before you check the garment out.
When you begin re-creating your wardrobe, try to have 70% be core pieces which have solid and muted colors. As Michael Kors refers to it, make that percentage be akin to your meat and potatoes. Ensure they are good quality clothes. The other 30% comprises of accessories, color, and creative patterns. If you keep this 70/30 rule in mind, you won’t have any trouble with your outfits. The perfect wardrobe follows this rule and has various outfit combinations — regardless of the number of pieces it holds. Unfortunately, many women get this wrong. Because of this, they have trouble looking put-together or may spend longer than necessary getting ready to leave the house.
Clearance and Final Sales Are Not Your Friends
Women love a good sale. Clothes are 25%, 50%, or even 75% off! Who could possibly pass that up? Well. . . hopefully you can. There are a couple problems with discount clothing. One reason they’re discount is because someone else returned the item because it was damaged. Another reason is because the clothes are no longer in season (and possibly no longer in fashion). But the most important reason to avoid clearance sales racks is because of the final sale. Before you checkout at stores, you may be informed that the item is “final sale”. Most of the time, this information is ignored. But final sale means that the item can absolutely not be returned to the store. In some instances, you could return it for store credit. But if you were dissatisfied with one product, are you going to want to continue shopping there?
Don’t settle for final sales. Plenty of clothing stores will allow you to return the product if you aren’t happy without it and give you your cash back. If you want to settle into a minimalistic lifestyle, you need to be continually reevaluating your possessions. When you buy a jacket then decide you actually don’t need it two weeks later, you need to have the option to return it to the store. If you don’t have that option, then something is amiss. Stick to shopping at places which have proper return policies. And when you feel drawn to clearance racks because you’re sure to find a good deal, take a moment. Think about your priorities. Remember that you should focus on buying clothes which have good value and which will last. Not grabbing clothes simply because they’re “such a good deal”.
Invest in Your Uniforms
There are two more important tips to keep in mind. First, find your go-to pieces. A shirt you love. Some boots you are constantly wearing. Organize these items into outfits that you can grab at a moment’s notice. No shuffling around or deciding between five different blouses. You have uniforms now, so to speak.
The second tip is to think of your clothes as an investment. That’s why you need to stick to acquiring good quality clothes. If your pieces have solid quality, they won’t fade or change texture. They’ll remain as is. Add these pieces to your uniform outfits.
The main point I want to get across is just this: Buy what you need. Love what you buy. Sometimes fashion says one thing but your heart says another. You know what you need and you know what you like. Just remember to try things on first! Pieces look one way on a hanger but may fit you quite differently. If you’re out shopping in a hurry, buy what you think would work and take it home. Try it on with other pieces to make sure it’ll fit together nicely. And if not? That return policy may come in handy, after all. . .