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Minimalist Closet Challenge: 10 Items, 5 Outfits, 7 Days

Embrace simplicity with this challenge; 17 positive takeaways, 5 things I'd do differently.
March 23, 2023
By Victoria Vitale

What Is The Minimalist Closet Challenge?

I love doing sustainable clothing challenges, especially when it gives me an excuse to get more wear from my go-to sweaters.

The Minimalist Closet Challenge was a big help in sorting through my closet and finding the items I enjoy wearing most. Over 7 days, I combined these pieces to create 5 outfits that I can now see myself wearing all the time. If you want to take the challenge, follow these basic steps...

  • Step 1: Audit your closet using my 5 criteria below.
  • Step 2: Narrow down your wardrobe to 10 items or less.
  • Step 3: Plan your core everyday outfits with these few items.
  • Step 4: Wear these outfits working, lounging, and going out over 7 days.
  • Step 5: Judge each outfit's comfort, performance, care, and versatility.
  • Step 6: Refine the items you chose. It's a journey!

Now that you've seen the steps, in the next few sections of my blog, I'll show you how I audited my closet and the various easy outfits I put together for the challenge.

I also left my takeaways under each outfit, which highlight what worked or didn't. So, be sure to check them out!

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Tips For Succeeding In The Minimalist Closet Challenge

Because I've been thinking about this a lot, I quickly knew which pieces I wanted to focus on when I started this challenge. 

That said, if you're struggling to choose items for your own wardrobe challenge, don't worry. I suggest using a similar method to mine and evaluating each item based on these 5 criteria:

  • Start with your activities: Knowing what you'll be doing throughout the week will help you determine what type of clothing items you need. For example, if you have a mix of work meetings and casual outings, you'll want to pick items that are suited for both.
  • Pick a color palette: Your color palette doesn't have to be too strict, but it's helpful to ensure that your pieces all work well together. Consider neutrals like black, white, gray, and beige, and then add fun colors that speak to your personal style.
  • Look for items that are versatile: Choosing pieces that can be dressed up or down and keep you comfortable in various weather is key for any clothing challenge, this one included.
  • What makes you feel confident: It might seem obvious, but trust me, we often fall short here. You want to feel good in the clothes you wear for the entire week.
  • Don't forget about comfort: Beyond confidence, it's important to choose items that are comfortable and easy to move around in, especially if you have a busy week ahead.

By following these tips, you'll be able to choose the perfect items for your challenge and feel confident and comfortable throughout the week. And now, without further delay, here are the 10 items I chose:

Oliver Charles - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
Oliver Charles - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Running Errands In Loungewear That Also Looks Good

The first outfit I came up with for the challenge was perfect for a busy day running errands around town. I wanted to feel both cute and comfortable, so I opted for a casual yet chic look. I started with my black Summer Sweater, which is super soft, thin, and lightweight, making it perfect for layering.

To add a little extra warmth, I threw on an oversized neutral sweater vest, which also gave my outfit some texture and dimension. I paired them with a pair of distressed jeans and black boots, making the entire ensemble look effortlessly stylish.

For a finishing touch, I added a black headband to add a pop of sophistication to the look. All in all, my outfit was complete, and I felt confident and stylish while running my errands around town. Here are my takeaways from my first outfit:

  • Opt for comfortable fabrics: When you're running around on errands or adventures, it's important to wear comfortable clothes that won't restrict your movement or make you feel uncomfortable. Look for fabrics that are soft, lightweight, and breathable, like SeaCell or yak wool.
  • Layer up: Layering is a great way to add some warmth and dimension to your outfit, especially if you're going to be outside for long periods of time.

    Consider adding a cardigan to your outfit to easily layer keep you warm and stylish.
  • Accessorize purposefully: Add an accessory, like a headband, to create some sophistication to your outfit.

    Keep in mind that less is often more when it comes to accessories, so choose a couple of key pieces to avoid overwhelming your look.
  • Play with  the proportions: While layering an oversized sweater vest over a lightweight sweater is a great way to add warmth and texture, it can also make your outfit look bulky. To avoid this, you can try a front tuck into your jeans.

    Luckily my Summer Sweater was more fitted underneath the vest to balance out the volume.
Oliver Charles - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
Oliver Charles - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Outfit Repeat Your Favorite Clothes

This is my favorite outfit for the challenge, and it's not only stylish but also incredibly comfortable to wear all day long. I reused my neutral sweater vest from my last outfit and layered it over my undyed All-Season Sweater. The combination of neutral colors is beautiful, and I love how I look in this outfit. I can see myself wearing it over and over again!

This outfit is versatile and perfect for any occasion. Whether I'm running errands or meeting friends for a casual hangout, it's easy to throw on and go. Plus, it's an excellent transitional outfit that I can wear as the weather changes.

I'm particularly thrilled about my Oliver Charles sweater. It's the perfect addition to my wardrobe, and I'm in love with how comfortable and cozy it feels.

Overall, I feel confident and at ease in this outfit, and I can't wait to wear it again! Here are the insights I gained from my second outfit:

  • Don't be afraid to outfit repeat: As demonstrated by the neutral sweater vest in this outfit, a versatile piece can be styled in different ways to create new looks without having to purchase new clothes.
  • Invest in quality pieces: My yak wool sweater not only looked good but is also super high performing. Items like this can be worn repeatedly without losing their quality or comfort, making them a great addition to any wardrobe.
  • Think about versatility: Aim for pieces that can be dressed up or down to suit different occasions, making them a go-to option for multiple events. This can save time and effort in the long run, allowing you to focus on other things besides outfit planning.
  • Experiment with color: While neutrals can be beautiful, I'd maybe improve the outfit by adding a pop of color with a scarf, bag, or shoes.
Oliver Charles - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
Oliver Charles - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Monochromatic Outfits Are Easy And Stylish

I went for a monochromatic look this time. The great thing about wearing a single neutral color like tan is that you can easily add a pop of color with your accessories. I chose to do this with a colorful headscarf, which really brings some fun and vibrancy to the outfit.

To create this look, I tucked my sweater into a stylish pair of tan pants. I also wore the same shoes from my previous outfit, which are both comfortable and chic. Of course, I had to bring along my trusty laptop bag - it's practically my sidekick and always comes in handy.

To add some personality to the outfit, I layered a necklace over my sweater. It's a subtle touch, but it really makes a difference in bringing the whole outfit together.

Overall, I'm really happy with how this outfit turned out. It strikes the perfect balance between dressing up and being comfortable, which is important for me on days when I need to elevate my wardrobe. Here are the main things I noticed about my third outfit:

  • Embrace your personal style: The monochromatic look is my go-to fashionable choice. It's trendy, but it's also simple and easy to wear. It looks classic.
  • The outfit is work-approved: It's important to have clothes that strike a balance between dressing up and comfort.
  • Limited color options: While the monochromatic look with the tan color scheme is stylish, it limits the variety of color options to choose from when creating an outfit.
Oliver Charles - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Effortless Outfit With A Few Key Pieces

For my next outfit, I wanted to add a bit of personality and flair to my look. I decided to go for a dressy yet fun, casual vibe, and I think I nailed it! I wore a super cute tiered tank dress under my Summer Sweater, which I tied around my waist to cinch in my silhouette.

To complete my outfit, I added some simple yet chic accessories. I chose to wear my favorite pearl headband and a pair of platform black sandals, which gave me some extra height while still being comfortable enough to wear all day long. The color palette of my outfit is simple and effortless, making it the perfect choice for a warm night out with friends.

The best part about this outfit is that it looks like I put in a lot of effort, but in reality, it only took a few key pieces from my closet to pull it all together. Plus, the Summer Sweater is incredibly light and comfortable, so I can sit or walk around all day without feeling restricted or uncomfortable.

Overall, I'm thrilled with how this outfit turned out, and I'm excited to wear it again and again! My reflections on my fourth outfit are as follows:

  • Embrace simplicity: It's easy to get caught up in trying to create the perfect outfit, but sometimes, less is more. As seen in the context, a simple color palette and a few key pieces can create a chic and effortless look. Don't be afraid to opt for simplicity and let your natural beauty shine through.
  • Choose versatile pieces: When selecting pieces for your wardrobe, look for items that can be dressed up or down and worn for multiple occasions. Investing in versatile pieces will not only save you money in the long run but will also provide more opportunities to mix and match your wardrobe.
  • Play with prints: Prints can add interest and personality to an outfit. Experiment with different patterns, such as florals, stripes, or polka dots, to create a bold and playful look. Just be sure to balance prints with solid colors to avoid an overwhelming outfit.
Oliver-Charles-Blog-Repeat-Style-Sustainability-Unique-Innovative-Materials-Sizing-Enclothed-Cognition-4 8.31.22 PM.jpg__PID:931b83c5-9209-41ee-a261-2aa8fd443ecc
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An Easy To Style, Casual Outfit For Everyday Wear

So, the other day, my sister and I went out for some shopping, and the weather was just perfect and sunny.

I decided to wear my Summer Sweater and paired it with a plaid shacket to keep me warm and stylish.

To complete the look, I opted for distressed jeans and my all-time favorite white Air Force Ones. This combination just never fails to make me feel confident and put-together.

This outfit is my go-to for casual occasions, and I can't wait to wear it again. It's the perfect mix of comfort and style, and it makes me feel like I can take on anything the day throws my way. Below are my final thoughts on my last outfit:

  • Experiment with fits and styles: The fit or style of your clothing can have a big impact on the overall look and feel of your outfit. Consider trying different styles of jeans, such as distressed, or different necklines to see what works best for you. You could also experiment with different silhouettes for your tops, such as a fitted crew neck.
  • Play with different textures: Texture can add depth to an otherwise classic outfit. I loved how the plaid shacket added some extra dimension to my Summer Sweater.
  • Remember to keep things simple: While this outfit is one of my favorites, I'd consider swapping the shacket with something more versatile, so I have an outer layer that was a bit more neutral.

The Minimalist Closet Challenge was a lot of fun and really opened my eyes to what in my closet I am drawn to most. I hope you all take the challenge and find what you enjoy wearing too.

If I were to do this challenge again, I would pick some items that are dissimilar from each other to really get the full effect of what is in my closet. I recommend you take the time to analyze your closet so that you can truly see what you are drawn to.

This will also help when shopping in the future because you’ll know what you like to wear. Creating outfits for a week was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed using specific items to create outfits that I will wear again and again.  

Victoria Vitale has a degree in fashion communication and enjoys sharing her experiences. Victoria is here to help you learn and grow your fashion knowledge.

If you believe that every good wardrobe starts with owning less and owning better, consider buying yourself an OLIVER CHARLES sweater.
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