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Minimalist Wardrobe: Level Up With Fewer Sustainable Pieces

Simplify your wardrobe with these 3 easy and empowering steps.
February 9, 2023
By Bridget Poston

Living Sustainably With a Simple Wardrobe

Introducing a 3-part blog series about discovering new ways to dress sustainably through outfit repeating and transforming your closet into a capsule wardrobe.

Wearing the Oliver Charles sweater has allowed me to get creative with my outfits and learn firsthand the benefits of outfit repeating, not only for the environment but also for my well-being.

Join me as I walk you through how I practice sustainable living with a simplified wardrobe.

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I used to be incredibly wasteful with clothes and zip through fashion like there was no tomorrow. But, eventually, I became more mindful of how my actions and sense of style impacted the environment.

I learned that having a few high-quality pieces is better than having 50 cheaply made pieces that will just go “out of style” in the blink of an eye. That’s when I discovered the benefits of a minimalist wardrobe.

In this article, I’m going to break down what a minimalist wardrobe is and how you can start your own. Let’s dive in!

Oliver Charles - What Is A Minimalist Wardrobe?

What Is A Minimalist Wardrobe?

Maybe you’ve heard this buzzword, but let’s break it down. A minimalist wardrobe consists of a small variety of clothes that never go out of style, are easily interchangeable, and last a long time.

They’re typically neutral colors, and you can pair them with nearly anything. Since the idea is to lessen your waste, you generally want pieces that are high quality, and durable.

Pieces like this never go out of style, and you’ll learn to love them the more you wear them.

My Oliver Charles sweater checks all the boxes on this one, which is why I’m such a fan! You can wear it all the time, and the yak wool keeps it fresh, cozy, and repeatable. It’s truly a staple for my wardrobe.

Oliver Charles - Why Should You Create a Minimalist Wardrobe?

Why Should You Create a Minimalist Wardrobe?

Simplifying your wardrobe comes with some mental and physical benefits. First off, less physical clutter means less mental clutter.

Figuring out what to wear just got a whole lot easier, too. Fewer items mean fewer decisions that need to be made. That’ll save you time and stress, especially when you’re running late, and you have to throw an outfit together in literally minutes!

If that wasn’t enough to make you say, “heck yes, it’s about time I create a minimalist wardrobe,” then know that taking this sustainable step is also helping the environment.

92 million tons of textile waste ends up in landfills every year. By actively opting for simple, repeatable outfits, you're positively impacting the planet. You learn to show more appreciation for the clothes you wear and the good you do for the world.

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How You Can Create Your Own Minimalist Wardrobe

Simplifying your closet doesn’t have to be complicated or limiting. I’m going to break down 3 steps you can take today to build your own minimalist wardrobe.

Step 1: Audit your closet.

Time to take inventory (and then get rid of it). Depending on how packed to the brim your closet is, this process could take a while. Decluttering your wardrobe may not happen in a day, so take your time and try to enjoy the process.

As you sift through your closet, ask yourself these questions:

  • Which pieces do I wear religiously, and which ones haven’t seen the light of day in months?
  • What items of clothing do I regularly wear to work, when I’m exercising, or going on a trip?
  • What do I like to do in my free time?

As you answer these questions, begin to make piles of what you wear most often and what you wear only on occasion. This will give you a good perspective on what you should keep and what should be donated or sold.

Keep in mind, if you haven’t touched an item of clothing in a while, it probably won’t make a good staple piece for your minimalist wardrobe.

Another way you can approach this is by tracking what you wear over 30 days. Consider jotting down notes on your phone about what pieces you chose for that day, or, if it's easier, you can simply take a daily photo. By the end, you'll have an album of pictures that will give you a clear perspective on what your go-to clothes are. Organize them into piles, and you’re ready for the next step.

Step 2: Plan your new wardrobe.

This is the fun part! Now that you have a pile for your most worn clothes and least worn, or worn on occasion, it’s time to dive even deeper.

For the least worn pile, go through each article of clothing and ask yourself if it brings you happiness. If it doesn’t or you make an excuse to wear it only on certain occasions then consider giving it away or selling it. If you haven’t worn that dress in two years, what makes you think you’ll wear it this spring?

Once you’ve gone through that process, it’s time to decide on a color scheme. This isn’t required, but it’s something that I did when I was cleaning out my closet. I found it to be helpful when it came time to buy new clothes (mindfully!). Usually, neutrals work best like greys, whites, blacks, and nudes because they’re easy to mix and match.

Determine what style suits you best and looks the most flattering. For example, are you a die-hard crop top fan, or are maxi dresses your go-to? Determine your style and find pieces that align with that. You can also break up your clothes by season, like this: 

  • Year-round must-haves
  • Fall and winter outfits
  • Spring and summer outfits

Also, determine the number of total pieces you want. Most minimalist wardrobes are between 25 and 50 pieces. Remember, keep it relatively low so you aren’t in the same position as before - with too many options! The goal is to simplify and minimalize your closet.

Step 3: Put it all together.

Get to work and watch your closet transform. Now that you’ve planned out what you want to get rid of and what you will keep, it’s time to take action.

Always start your minimalist wardrobe with pieces you already own. It’s not sustainable to start from scratch, not to mention your wallet won’t be too thrilled.

With that in mind, start clearing out your closet. Put your giveaway or “to be sold” items in a box or bag and plan a time to take care of those later.

Consider the changing seasons and store away items that you won’t need for that season. This will keep your closet tidy and the outfit decisions easy to make. Take your time with this process because that’s exactly what it is: a process. Throw on some music and make the transformation a fun one. I promise you. Your new minimal wardrobe is going to improve your mindset.

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A Minimalist Wardrobe Values Quality Over Quantity

As unwanted clothes stack up in our landfills, it’s important to reflect on the cost of following fast fashion trends - and not just on the environment but on our wallets too!

Creating a minimalist wardrobe isn’t difficult and can be a freeing process. Not only are you clearing out physical clutter but also the mental clutter that comes with it, which can be transformational in and of itself.

Fill your minimalist wardrobe with high-quality, timeless pieces you can mix and match, and you’ll never find yourself asking, “what should I wear?” again.

Bridget Poston is a copywriter, email marketer, and avid book reader. Bridget is meticulous with her words, an adventurer at heart, and on some days, a bit of a workaholic. She gives it her all from start to finish - and you can quote her on that!

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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