7 Easy Steps to Dressing Better With Less
Imagine reaching into your closet and being able to pull out a complete outfit with
absolutely no effort. Looking chic and put together all the time - perfectly styled with ease. …How? By adapting a minimalist mindset.
What does that mean?
The minimalist mindset has evolved from the theory that less is more.
Putting more thought into each and every item you own helps you make better selections that will add more value to your life than multiple thoughtless purchases which you may later realize aren’t contributing to your happiness.
Effortless style - What exactly is that?
When everything you own compliments you perfectly and works in harmony with each other, putting together an outfit is as easy as grab it-and-go. When great thought has already gone into your clothing collection piece-by-piece the process of putting together an outfit becomes truly effortless.
But why own less?
Owning less items that serve you more completely has a range of benefits:
You’ll save $
The amount of money the average consumer spends on items they don’t need or use is alarming, to say the least
You’ll save time Let’s be real, agonizing over what you’re going to wear every morning is not the best use of your energy
You’ll have less clutter It’s been scientifically proven that clutter creates emotional distress. Less clutter -> improved peace of mind. Having less material ‘things’ to worry about directly correlates with a happier, healthier mind
Less laundry While you may find you have to launder your staple items weekly, the days of the dreaded multi-load day-long laundromat visits will be a thing of the past. Small manageable laundry loads will hardly feel like a chore
Are You Ready? Let’s Dive In!
7 easy steps to starting applying the Minimalist Mindset to your wardrobe
1. Create Your ‘Minimalist Statement’
This is really important! Before you do anything you need to establish what the criteria is for you to justify keeping an item in your life. We’ll call this your ‘Minimalist statement’ and will serve as your bottom line and a point of reference to keep you on track when the decision making gets tough. Your minimalist statement could be a list of points, a criteria a general sentence.
An example of a list may be:
An example of a minimalist statement may be:
2. Take Everything Out of Your Closet (and Dresser)
Shoes, coats, rain jackets, umbrellas, slippers, socks, pajamas, unmentionables, everything. Take it all out, and put it on your bed. If your bed won’t fit all of your things, that’s okay. Do this in stages. Designate a corner of your room for items to gift, give-away, sell or donate. It might take a while, but I swear, this is worthwhile.
Make a day of it, have a friend over and have some dress-up fun! Don’t set a time limit on yourself and remember the benefits of the end goal: an all-around better YOU.
3. Let Go of the Obvious
You’ll see right away that there are obvious items you can get rid of. Anything that has dust on the shoulders means it hasn’t been worn in quite some time. Let it go. Have an item in your closet that you’ve never worn? Determine why that is and move it to the appropriate pile. If you run into an item that you can’t make a decision on go with your gut, or refer to your minimalist statement. Ask “Am I ever actually going to wear this? Will I ever wear this often enough to justify keeping it?” Be honest with yourself and don’t overthink it.
4. Stop Being Sentimental
This can be the most difficult step. It’s that t-shirt from that concert, or the dress you wore on a memorable date, or something that was given to you by someone who matters in your life. Remember your minimalist statement - does the sentimental garment meet the criteria or are you hanging on to something emotional that you perceive is in the garment? Consider what else you could do with the garment rather than letting it live in your closet taking up real estate. Remember that memories live within you yourself, not within inanimate objects. You may feel that the memory of Carol’s wedding is embodied in the purple brides-maid dress that you’re never going to wear again but it isn’t. It lives in your mind and in your heart and that will live with you forever with or without the physical keepsake. You don’t need it, and therefore it should go.
5. ...But it’s So Beautiful
I once had this $300 dollar designer jacket that was very beautiful and very fancy. It was by far the most expensive thing I ever owned. The problem? It was too small, like way too small and it looked horrible on me. So bad in fact, that I never wore it. But I kept it in my closet because it was just so beautiful. I got rid of it, someone else liked it and got a lot of use out of it, and that was that. I’m still here, I’m still okay, and I’ve found another beautiful jacket that I actually wear every day and the value of that is far greater than the $300 jacket I let go of.
6. Have You Worn it Recently?
If it’s sweater season, so go through your sweaters first. Ditch the ones you haven’t worn this season. Even that one your aunt bought for you that makes you feel connected to her. Call her instead and tell her about your life. Saving space in the closet AND connecting with family? Win-win. If you have a pair of jeans from high school in the back of your closet it might be time to say goodbye. If you haven’t worn something recently ask yourself “Why?” and then put it in the appropriate pile. By taking a moment to understand the why you will teach yourself how to make better-informed purchases in the future and break the bad-buy cycle.
7. Remove Duplicates
Assess what you have left - do you have 4 black t-shirts? Do you have 7 pairs of blue jeans? Try your very best to do away with excess items that you have multiples of. Hang on to only the most comfortable, most wearable, best fitting pieces that closest meet your minimalist statement. For items like socks and underwear, multiples are of course ideal, but I trust you will find that by following the first 6 steps your unmentionables will now be down to the ideal quantities.
You’ve done away with the excess and are now left with the creme of the crop, your Minimalist Wardrobe!
Now, organize these items back into your closet and dresser with intention and purpose.
What does that mean?
Well - give your storage space a system ie. Pants go here, dresses go there, group similar colors, whatever your aesthetic and organization style may be apply it to your closet and the way you store your clothing. Having clear places for all your things to live will help you see what you have and will make pulling an outfit out mindlessly easy. It will also help you long term when determining where you may need to add or replace an item if you can look at a spot in your closet and know exactly what is (or isn’t) there.
As you put your wardrobe away make note of any missing item(s) that you know will be a staple going forward. For example, did you end up getting rid of all your black jeans and know with certainty that you wear black jeans multiple times a week?
Remember your minimalist statement and apply that whenever shopping or replacing items in your collection. These 7 steps should become more and more second nature to you as you continue to practice them and you may even start to adapt the minimalist mindset into other areas of your life!
For best results repeat these 7 steps every 3months or seasonally - whichever makes the most sense for where you live and what your profession or lifestyle requires.
“I hope you enjoyed these 7 steps to adopting the minimalist mindset to your wardrobe, and I’d love to hear your feedback and your experience in giving it a go! This year is going to be your best year yet and by adapting simple steps like this you’ll be maximizing your time and effort and you will feel confident stepping out every day knowing that you put the thought in, and you look amazing.”