The concept of a minimalist wardrobe is probably one that scares a lot of people, particularly those who love shopping. However if you find yourself with a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear every morning, it may be worthwhile going through and removing some items. You may feel like cutting down on clothes will only limit your outfit options, but having only the necessities all in easily accessible, easily to see spots can work wonders. You won’t waste any more time trying to find the best pair of pants to go with your jacket or spend 20 minutes looking for that top you swear you still have. Instead you will have a well organised wardrobe with a solid foundation of basics, optimised with a few decorative pieces. Here are the staples you want to fill your wardrobe with once you’ve cleared out tangle of unworn clothes;
Plain Tops: Preferably three or four of long sleeve and short sleeve tops in basic colours such as black, white and grey. Choose either round or V-neck depending on your preference and aim for a cotton knit – this provides a better fit and is breathable and cooling in the summer.
Blouses: One or two blouses, either long or short sleeve, for work or smart-casual events. These can be purchased in a variety of colours and prints, as long as you have enough plain skirts or pants to match them with.
Jeans: High waisted or low rider, make sure you have a pair in light blue, dark blue and black. If you can, purchase good quality, well fitting jeans – these are more of an investment than just an item of clothing and a good pair can last you many years. Think about where you wear your jeans to the most when considering the cut and style – ripped knees aren’t the best when you need to look put together for work.
Pants: Three pairs – two good quality straight cut pairs for work in a plain colour such as black or taupe, and another more comfortable loose pair for lounging around the house. If you want, you can purchase printed pants as well. These are not a staple but will match well with your plain tops to add a little personality into your wardrobe.
Dresses: A plain LBD is a must, plus a dress to put over your swimmers at the beach. Also have a maxi dress and a couple of cocktail dresses for special occasions. Be mindful of the styles you purchase – aim for plain colours and cuts, as these kinds of dresses can be dressed up or down depending on the event. If you have wider hips, go for dresses that are cinched at the waist. If you have broad shoulders, aim for dresses that aren’t strapless or spaghetti strapped.
Skirts: One or two pencil skirts for work in black, navy or deep red or green. A long flowy skirt for the weekends and a couple of other shorter skirts for going out at night time – try to stick to taupes, blacks and greys. A denim skirt is also good to have for more casual events.
Shoes: One pair of runners, one pair of thongs, two plain flats in black or brown, a pair of heels in black or nude, a pair of plain sneakers for casual days and either heeled or flat boots. Again, try to keep the styles and colours minimal, as you want to be able to match your shoes to as many clothes in your wardrobe as possible. Purchase good quality shoes that you know will last you for a couple of years – they will look newer for longer and offer more support and comfort.
Scarves: A couple of warm cotton or wool scarves in colours that match everything – think darker tones and minimal patterns. One or two brightly coloured scarves are also fine if you want them to brighten up your outfit.
Coats: One black and one navy or grey. Make sure the coats you purchase are as minimal as possible – you want to have your coat for many years and frills, patterns and bright colours can easily go out of style. There is nothing more chic than a well cut, dark coloured coat over jeans and boots.
Jackets/Blazers: One black blazer for work and one or two jackets in either leather or cotton if you live in a colder climate. Don’t purchase too many jackets if you already own a couple of coats – there is no need for 6 outer garments if you live by the equator! Also try to keep the shoulder pads and faux fur to a minimum – these are details that easily come and go out of style.
Shorts: One denim, one black and one patterned, high waisted or by the hips. Invest in a nice belt of either black or brown to add to your shorts (or jeans) to dress them up when you feel like it.
Tracksuits: One or two pairs for lazy days around the house. These can be as whacky and as colourful as you like as it’s unlikely you will wear them to work or events. Make sure they fit properly and are comfortable.
Pyjamas: Two pairs for winter and two for summer, so that you have one to wear while the other is in the wash. A good way to recycle clothes and save a little money is to use your old tops or tracksuits as pyjamas, or underneath pyjamas for particularly cold nights.