A great way to embrace sustainable living is by letting go of dynamic fashion closets and going for a minimalist wardrobe. However, this transition can be pretty daunting since as consumers, we are conditioned in a way that our mind works on buying more items now and then even if we do not need them at the moment.
In fact, according to the Chief Designer Officer involved with California Closets, whose interview came in the Wall Street Journal, we only wear 20% of our wardrobe regularly!
Sounds crazy! Isn’t it?
Well, we were just as stunned as you are at the moment. Therefore, to make your task easier and help you make a capsule wardrobe that serves your needs, we have come up with a few tips and a checklist that you can follow to get started right away.
But before we do that, let us first understand what a minimalist wardrobe is!
What is a Minimalist Wardrobe?
A minimalist closet is one that only has essential items in it that are not only versatile but can also be worn interchangeably. The main aim of a minimal wardrobe is to have suitable outfits for different occasions without cluttering one’s closet. Minimalism focuses on quality rather than the quantity of any item.
What is a Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe?
A minimalist capsule wardrobe is a thoughtful way of creating a wardrobe that has minimal pieces that can be worn through mix-and-match tactics. It focuses on “less clutter” in the closet, removing items that we do not require.
Why have a Minimalist Wardrobe?
The benefits of a minimalist wardrobe are many and we will look at them one by one:-
1. Reduces Clutter
One of the biggest blessings of having a capsule wardrobe is less visual clutter. The less you have, the more you’ll be stress-free and can go about your life in a minimalist way.
2. Help Stay Organized
Fewer outfits mean less laundry and, therefore, easier cleaning. All this aids in staying organized and helps in keeping track of essential items instead of making you rummage through your closet when you need a certain outfit.
3. Saves Time
When you have fewer items in your wardrobe, you will be able to decide what to wear faster. This will save you time and energy throughout the day.
It may happen that you might be spending more on staple clothing items, but these investments are always long-term. Also, you won’t be spending a dime on any trendy outfit that you’ll be wearing for just one or two occasions. So, although you might be shoving money upfront, you do not need to spend more for the upkeep.
37 Minimalist Wardrobe Tips & Checklist for Men and Women
Here’s a quick overview of tips and checklists for men and women:
- Repeat Outfits
- Form Your Own Fashion Rules
- Perform a Wardrobe Audit
- Go for Fewer Colors
- Go for Quality over Quantity
- Shop with a Prepared List
- Organize Your Closet
- Select Versatile Items
- Try to Mix and Match
- Choose a Good Tailor
- No New Clothes Challenge
- Try borrowing from friends
- Avoiding clothes with special requirements for undergarments
- Taking good care of clothes
- Avoid fast fashion sales
- Put needs before wants.
- Develop a color palette
Minimalist Wardrobe Tips
Let us delve deeper and learn some tips about a minimalist wardrobe.
1. Repeat Outfits
Although we always feel that we can be stylish only when we go for fast fashion, in reality, this is not the case. Repeating the outfit now and then is one of the top tips and best way to stay minimal without compromising your style and confidence.
2. Form Your Own Fashion Rules
You do not have to follow anybody to set your style and fashion. Magazines and social media sites profess a lot about what one should wear and what one shouldn’t. However, these styles change frequently leading to overflowing closets.
Therefore, it is best to have your rules and understand what you like wearing and what you don’t rather than blindly following the dynamic fashion rules.
3. Perform a Wardrobe Audit
You should do an audit of your minimalist wardrobe frequently. Try de-cluttering your closet and keep only the essentials that you require. Get rid of clothes that you think you’ll wear but you do not. This way you’ll be able to create your capsule closet.
4. Go for Fewer Colors
Whether you believe it or not, we all have some or the other colors with ourselves that we often wear. This is because those colors make us look good and boost our confidence. As such, you can go for fewer colors and accessories, and purchase only those items that you know look good on you.
5. Go for Quality over Quantity
Always buy minimal outfits that you like even if they are costlier. If you have items in your closet that you love to wear, you won’t feel the urge to add to them and hence, you won’t be spending much overtime.
6. Shop with a Prepared List
For creating a minimalist closet, make sure you buy things that are on your shopping list. Advertisements and displays are made in a way that urges people to buy more. But when you have a prepared list with you, you will not buy unnecessary items while shopping.
7. Organize Your Closet
When you organize your closet, you know what is placed where. This helps in keeping track of the number of items you have and also about those that you need to give away or donate.
8. Select Versatile Items
Although minimalism focuses on neutrality, you can still come up with your style. As such, you can always buy some quality pieces that can be used to create different styles and looks for various occasions.
9. Try to Mix and Match
A minimalist capsule wardrobe goes a long way when you know how to mix and match your outfits. This way you can have a variety in your looks and can enjoy different styling but in a minimal way.
10. Choose a Good Tailor
Ready-to-wear clothes mostly lead to fit issues since everybody has a different body type. Here’s a good tailor that can help you get going. With their aid, you can easily customize the pieces that you want to wear without any hassles.
11. No New Clothes Challenge
You can try and avoid buying clothes for a certain period. This way you’ll not be attracted to various advertisements that urge you to purchase items that you do not even need.
12. Try Borrowing from Friends
A minimalist wardrobe tip is to borrow items from your friends precisely if you know; you’ll need them for a short period. Don’t go out and purchase outfits for each occasion if you know you can borrow the same from your friends.
13. Avoid Clothes with Special Requirements for Undergarments
Unless you already have a special garment for that particular piece that you’re going to buy, don’t make the purchase. Avoid buying any dresses where you know you need to get specialty garments before you can wear them.
14. Taking Good Care of Clothes
Just curating a simple wardrobe is not enough. You should also take good care of your clothes so that they go a long way and you do not unnecessarily get to spend more here and there frequently.
15. Avoid Fast Fashion Sales
Avoid sales options that motivate you to buy things at a low price. This is because more often than not, these are just a way to make you buy those items, which you may not necessarily need.
16. Put Needs Before Wants
There may be a lot of things that you want but that does not necessarily mean that you need them too. Always keep a check over what you need in your closet and what you want so that you do not end up spending more unnecessarily.
17. Develop a Color Palette
You can curate a color palette for your capsule wardrobe and can always play around with them to make the most out of your style.
Minimalist Wardrobe Checklist for Men and Women
Well, let us have a minimalist wardrobe men and women checklist and see what all we need:-
|Checklist for Men
|Checklist for Women
|1. Basic T-shirts
|1. Tank Tops
|2. Short and Long-sleeved Shirts
|2. Pleated Skirt
|3. Classic Jeans
|3. Blue Jeans
|4. Socks and Ties
|4. A-Line Dress
|5. Long-Sleeved Shirt
|6. Everyday Sweatshirts
|7. Knitted Jumpers
|7. Denim Shorts
|8. Tailored Shorts
|9. Navy Suit
|9. Office Tote Bag
|10. Sneakers and Leather Sandals
Checklist for Men
A minimalist wardrobe for men should have the following items:-
1. Basic T-shirts
In a capsule wardrobe, you should always have a basic T-shirt. This goes well with everything and makes you look simple and comfortable without compromising your looks and elegance.
2. Polo Shirts
Men should also have Polo shirts (full or half-sleeved) that work well in various ways. You can start with neutrals and include them in your wardrobe as and when required.
3. Classic Jeans
A simple wardrobe always calls for Classic Jeans. Dark and slim, they look great while adding to your minimal look. The best part about these jeans is that they tend to be good enough for a sudden party plan but do not overdo it in any sense.
4. Socks and Ties
You must have a sock and tie in your closet that complements you anywhere anytime. Look for quality purchases that have nice fits and are dark-colored.
Pro Tips: Buy the ones that have a cotton material.
A perfect pair of loungewear is yet another checklist option that you should have. Comfortable and simple, these make an essential part of a capsule wardrobe for men.
6. Everyday Sweatshirts
A minimalist wardrobe remains incomplete without an everyday Sweatshirt. You can go for navy and black colors since they go well with chinos and joggers.
7. Knitted Jumpers
Go for knitted jumpers and make sure that you have a lightweight option that you can wear inside along with a heavy one that you can wear in freezing temperatures outside. Stick to neutrals in this regard.
8. Tailored Shorts
Since hemline trends are ever-changing, go with tailored cuts that come to a halt an inch or so above your knees. Keep the colors muted and we bet that these will look good in most setups.
9. Navy Suit
A minimalist wardrobe for men’s essentials is the Navy Suit. You can wear them to a formal setup and other related occasions.
Exquisite in a minimal way, Blazers are an ever-green addition to the men’s closet. Perfect for office setup, it also goes well in places that call for a formal dress code.
Checklist for Women
A minimalist wardrobe for women should contain the following items:-
1. Tank Tops
A basic tank top is what you need to build your capsule wardrobe. These go well with a wide variety of outfits and various setups.
Pro Tips: Pair them with classic jeans or shorts to look cool in a minimal way.
2. Pleated Skirts
You must have a pleated skirt in your capsule wardrobe, which you can pair with any neutral top to bring the most out of your skirt.
3. Blue Jeans
Your minimalist wardrobe checklist would not make much sense without a pair of blue jeans. The best part about this outfit is that you can mix and match and make your casual or formal look instantly.
4. A-Line Dress
Chic yet minimal, A-line dress is what should be in your closet. Go for a black color to add a subtle charm to your wardrobe.
5. Long-Sleeved Shirts
Long-sleeved shirts are a great addition to one’s wardrobe. You can wear them casually or formally as per your desire.
A minimalist wardrobe of women’s essentials is more often than not incomplete without Turtlenecks. You can choose anything from plain to knitted styles in black or white colors.
7. Denim Shorts
This essential item does well in both summer and springtime. One can pair them nicely with a white tee along with sandals or sneakers.
A great outerwear, Trenchcoats are another checklist item that you need to have in your capsule wardrobe. You can buy classic Trenchcoats with double-breasted overcoats that are up to knee level.
Pro Tips: To get a chic look, try getting your hands on a wool camel coat.
9. Office Tote Bag
A minimalist capsule wardrobe should essentially have a working tote bag. Always check the strap and zipper before you make the final purchase.
10. Sneakers and Leather Sandals
You should always have a simple pair of Sneakers and Leather Sandals since they offer a wide variety of styles that you can easily follow anytime.
How to Build a Minimal Wardrobe?
A simple wardrobe can be built without much ado. As such, read on to know how it can be done:-
1. Take Out Your Favorites
The first step towards building a minimal closet is by choosing and keeping aside the clothes you like. These should be the outfits that make you feel confident and comfortable. Also, pay heed to the kind of fabrics, the color, or the style of the apparel that you like so that you can know which types of clothes to keep and which to give away.
2. Define Your Style
Once you are aware of the fabric types and colors you like, you should get started with defining your unique style. Since a minimalist wardrobe does not take into consideration any set fashion parameters, you can choose to wear outfits that you like, the ones that make you feel comfortable at all times.
3. Remove the Unnecessary
After identifying your favorite clothes and knowing your style, it’s time to de-clutter your closet. Remove all the clothes that do not make you feel the best or the outfits you’re not confident in.
4. Buy Quality over Quantity
To build a minimalist closet, it is essential to go for outfits that you truly desire to wear, even if they are costlier. When you have only the things that you wish to have, you won’t have to spend more to add to your wardrobe, and that way you will be able to create a capsule closet easily.
How to Maintain a Minimal Wardrobe?
Here are some of the simple ways in which you can maintain a minimalist wardrobe:-
- The best way to maintain a minimal wardrobe is to buy clothes only when you need them. Avoid purchasing items that you think you will need but you do not actually.
- Swap your clothes with your friends and mix and match outfits to make the most out of your clothing style.
- Avoid buying clothes that are on sale. This is because these tend to be impulsive buys and not items that one needs.
- Reorganize your wardrobe every few months. It will help you rediscover the items that you have been neglecting. This in turn will help you avoid unnecessary shopping.
- Buy things, but only when you get rid of any of your previous outfits so that you can have space for something new.
How to Style a Minimalist Wardrobe?
Styling a minimalist closet can be done in the following easy ways although there is not just one way to do it:-
- You should begin by prioritizing your comfort. This way you can get into your style.
- If you like patterns, include the same in your closet.
- You can invariably add different colors to your wardrobe while having only a certain amount of outfits.
- Add various minimal statement pieces.
How to Create a 3a Kids Capsule Wardrobe?
A minimalist wardrobe checklist for kids can be created without hassles with our simple steps. Let’s have a look:-
1. Prepare a Capsule Checklist
Before making the purchase, you must make a checklist for your kid’s capsule wardrobe. This will help you know what you want and what is necessary for the particular season. The best way to determine that is to see if your child is going to size up or when the new season kicks in.
2. Find Good Brands
By good brands, we mean those options that are apt for your kid without making a hole in your pocket. Also, when you purchase from a single store, you can create a consistent size for your kid and have a good minimal shopping for your little munchkin without stressing over which brands to look for when in need.
3. Choose a Color Palette
Select neutrals, including a few colors per capsule, to make a minimalist closet for your kid. You can always mix and match them when needed.
4. Remove and Donate
Once your little one outgrows their clothes, make sure you keep those clothes aside for donation and then go and purchase the next outfit you want for them. In other words, follow a one-in and one-out formula. This way you can always keep a check on the number of outfits your kid has and you’ll easily be able to make a minimalist closet for them without hassles.
How to Make Clothes Last Longer?
Well, even though you have made your ideal minimalist capsule wardrobe, it is equally necessary to take care of the clothes that you buy. Mentioned below are some of the effortless ways by which you can take care of your clothes and make them last longer.
1. Purchase Quality Outfits
Cheap clothes are not durable; rather they tend to make you spend more and more frequently over time. Therefore, it is advisable to purchase clothes that are of high quality and meet sustainable standards since they last longer.
2. Handwash the Clothes
Another way by which you can save your clothes from getting damaged early is by handwashing them. This will help in protecting the outfits, especially those that are made of delicate fabrics. Also, while handwashing, use cold water so that your clothes do not shrink or fade.
3. Air Dry Your Clothes
Instead of using energy-consuming dryers, we recommend that you air dry your clothes since inner wear easily loses its elasticity when exposed to excessive heat. This way you can keep the charm of your favorite pieces intact.
4. Try Repairing Your Clothes
It is always better to fix small issues with your clothes which can make them go a long way. Sew your buttons if they fall off your shirt or if there is a small tear on your clothes. It will help you live a minimalist lifestyle apart from allowing you to keep your clothes for long.
What is Project 333?
Project 333 is a minimalist fashion challenge started by Courtney Carver, a writer by profession in 2010. This challenge dares people to wear only 33 pieces of clothing over 3 months. Project 333 also extends to outerwear, accessories, shoes, and jewelry apart from clothing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a minimalist wardrobe?
A minimalist wardrobe is one that de-clutters the closet and helps you keep only the essential items that are required. It is a small collection of apparel that can be mixed and matched for various occasions.
What are some of the minimalist wardrobe checklists for men?
A minimalist wardrobe checklist for men is as follows:
1. Basic T-shirts
2. Short and Long-sleeved Shirts
3. Classic Jeans
4. Socks and Ties
What are some of the minimalist wardrobe checklists for women?
A minimalist wardrobe checklist for women is as follows:-
1. Tank Tops
2. Pleated Skirts
3. Blue Jeans
4. A-Line Dress
5. Long-Sleeved Shirts
Why go with a minimalist capsule wardrobe?
A minimalist wardrobe is a great way to live a sustainable life. It also helps save time and energy along with the money that we impulsively spend on clothes that are hardly required in our day-to-day lives.
What should be in a minimalist wardrobe?
A minimalist wardrobe should have some basic t-shirts, a pair of jeans, short and long-sleeved shirts amongst others.
Takeaway (Final Thoughts)
A minimalist wardrobe has helped people make a transition toward a sustainable lifestyle. It has aided tremendously in reducing the stress that occurs due to the cluttering of items in our closet every other time. Although setting up a capsule wardrobe seems challenging, we hope our guide helps you in this quest and makes your task of having a streamlined wardrobe easier.
Do let us know which of the checklist items is on your next shopping list and which one you already have with you in our comment section below.